Botox is becoming more and more popular to help with aging, fine lines, wrinkles AND cosmetic dentistry. But did you know that it can also be used to help with jaw pain? Let’s discuss Botox for TMJ treatment.
First … WHAT can cause Jaw Pain?
Jaw pain can be from one of two causes. Let’s discuss what they are and symptoms of each:
TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint
What: It can stem from your tempromandibular joint (TMJ). This joint is what allows you to open and close your mouth as well as chew and move your mandible (lower jaw) from side to side. Within your TMJ are two bones that fit together with a disc in between. If any problem occurs with the joint or disc this can cause pain. Problems with this joint can occur after some sort of accident or trauma. Here’s what Mayo Clinic says about TMJ Disorders.
- Aching facial pain
- Pain or tenderness of your jaw
- Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints
- Aching pain in and around your ear
- Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
- Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth
Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth
What: The other cause for jaw pain can be from clenching or grinding your teeth together, also known as Bruxism. Unlike a problem with your joint, this pain occurs from too much pressure being placed on your teeth and jaw. Clenching and grinding can be caused by several factors, but most commonly stress. Here’s what Mayo Clinic says about Bruxism or Teeth Grinding.
- Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
- Tired or tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw that won’t open or close completely
- Jaw, neck or face pain or soreness
- Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to wake up your sleep partner
- Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
- Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
- Pain that feels like an earache, though it’s actually not a problem with your ear
- Dull headache starting in the temples
- Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
- Sleep disruption
What Can You Do? Schedule a Dental Appointment
It is important that you talk with your dentist to identify the cause of your jaw pain before any treatment is done.
Here’s how we typically diagnose TMJ problems at our dental practice:
- Your dental and medical records will be evaluated, if you suspect you may have TMJ disorder/TMD.
- We will look for poor bite alignment, joint and muscle tenderness, and any noise that occurs when you move your jaw (clicking, popping, etc.).
- We will look for unusual signs of wear on your teeth (this can indicate teeth grinding which can lead to TMJ problems).
- Your dentist will also speak to you about any history of pain that occurs when you chew, or if you have shown lack of range of motion with your jaw.
- If a disorder is suspected, your dentist will thoroughly study your teeth and jaws with dental x-rays to get a clear picture of your teeth and joints.
If your pain is determined to be from clenching and/or grinding, Botox could be used to alleviate these symptoms.
How Can Botox for TMJ Treatment Help?
Just like in Botox treatment for fine lines and wrinkles, Botox for TMJ treatment can be injected into your masseter muscle which is a muscle that helps you chew. It is located on each side of your face and connects your cheekbone to your mandible. Which is another reason you’ll hear people refer to this treatment as Masseter Botox.
When Botox is injected into the masseter muscle it will relax the muscle and decrease the amount of force you place on your jaw and teeth. This will not cause any problems with eating or talking.
Botox is a purified protein that, when injected, attaches to a patient’s nerve endings to inhibit nerve transmission. After a Botox injection, a patient’s facial motions beneath the injection sites will stop temporarily. This effect is especially useful for people who want to stop grinding their teeth, or halt wrinkles from getting worse. While Botox effects are temporary, they can sometimes last three to four months on average before having to return for another appointment.
What to expect during and after Masseter Botox
- Your appointment will take approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Your dentist will discuss with you expectations from treatment and determine how much Botox is needed.
- Treatment typically consists of 2-4 injection points.
- After treatment you will need to avoid exercising for 24 hours, rubbing the area or placing pressure on the treated areas.
- Botox can take up to 7 days before the full effect is noticed, but some patients see a difference in as little as 3 days.
- It is important to understand that Botox is a temporary treatment that lasts between 3-6 months and in the beginning you may need to have treatment more frequently.
Schedule your Botox for TMJ Treatment at Luff Dental
Did you know that there are more than three million cases of TMJ disorder every year in the United States? For many, this leads to discomfort and jaw stiffness; however, many patients with TMJ disorder are beginning to find relief of their TMJ symptoms with Botox for TMJ Treatment from their dentist.
Dr. Luff offers Botox for TMJ Treatment at her office in Lee’s Summit, MO. Schedule your appointment at Luff Dental to see if you are a candidate for Botox to ease your symptoms of teeth grinding, clenching or TMJ.
Work with Dr. Luff and her team to find the most effective solution for your smile! We are always accepting new patients in the Lee’s Summit, MO and surrounding area who are ready to improve the health of their teeth, their confidence and smile! Please call Luff Dental at (816) 875-3391 to schedule your appointment.