Botox for TMJ Sherman Oaks
The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) holds the jaw bone to the skull. It is composed of various muscles, tendons, and bones which work together to close the upper jaw on the lower jaw. The TMJ is one of the most often used joints of the body, responsible for such functions as biting, chewing, talking, and yawning.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, commonly called TMJ or TMD occurs when there is a derangement in the normal functioning of the Temporomandibular Joint. Repetitive behaviors such as teeth grinding or clenching, gum chewing, fingernail biting, or stress lead to hypertrophy or enlargement of the masseter muscle which is the main muscle used for chewing. The enlargement of the masseter muscle along with its repetitive spasms cause an acute or chronic inflammation of the joint resulting in TMJ.
TMJ pain can be severe for many people, causing a significant impairment in the activities of daily living. Symptoms of TMJ include chronic headaches, earache, facial pain, and damage to the tissue on the inside of the mouth.
Traditional treatments for TMJ have been performed by dentists and orthodontists and include the use of bite guards, removal of wisdom teeth, and chiropractic maneuvers. However, these treatments are rarely successful in providing pain relief for those with TMJ. Recently, Botox has been used for the treatment of TMJ disorder with great results.
How Does Botox Work in Treating TMJ?
Treatment of TMJ with Botox is simple, safe, and does not involve any surgery. Botox is a neurotoxin which temporarily paralyzes the muscles it is injected into. Originally used for cosmetic purposes to reduce wrinkles, Botox is now used to effectively treat several medical conditions including Migraine Headaches, Urinary Incontinence, Excessive Sweating, and TMJ. During the procedure for TMJ treatment, the masseter muscle is identified by having the patient contract the muscle in a clenching manner. Several tiny Botox injections are then placed directly into the muscle. The Botox will then cause a relaxation of the muscle, weakening it but not fully paralyzing it. You will still be able to speak and chew your food, however you will notice an absence of the spasms that occur with the clenching and grinding that were present before your treatment. Some patients may even notice a cosmetic difference, with their relaxed jaw line creating a more smooth and natural shape. Additional injections may be made in the temples and forehead depending on each person’s symptoms. It is important to know that only the areas injected with Botox will be affected by the treatment. There will be no effect anywhere else in your body.
How Long Does Botox treatment for TMJ Take?
Botox treatment for TMJ usually takes between 10-20 minutes depending on the number of injections needed. This will vary for each individual. There is minimal pain associated with the injections, and an ice pack may be applied to the injection site before the procedure to reduce discomfort.
Will Botox Cure TMJ?
You will begin to see results from your Botox treatment 4-7 days following your procedure. The effects of treatment last for about 4 months. After 2-3 treatments with Botox, the masseter muscle often begins to atrophy or shrink and many patients will lose the habit which they had formed with the repetitive grinding or clenching of the jaw. Therefore, further treatment with Botox may not be required, and patients may continue to live their lives free from the chronic pain caused by their TMJ.
Is Botox Safe?
Botox is extremely safe, however as with any medical procedure there are possible risks and side effects to be aware of when using Botox for TMJ treatment. There may be mild temporary bruising, numbness, or redness around the injection sites. Some patients may experience headaches, respiratory infection, a flu-like syndrome, nausea, or muscle weakness. These risks and possible complications are very rare, and will always resolve with time. Botox injection treatments should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation.
It is important that your physician be experienced in administering Botox injections. Inappropriate Botox injections may result in drooping of the eyelids or drooling around the mouth. These effects are not immediately reversible and will last for approximately 4 months until the Botox wears off.
Are you sick and tired of the pain caused by your TMJ? Call us and arrange a consultation to see if Botox treatment is right for you.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Zadeh will evaluate your symptoms and the impairment they cause on your activities of daily living and explain your treatment options to you in detail. He will determine which injection sites and how many units will work best to safely achieve your desired results. A follow-up appointment is usually made 1-2 weeks after your treatment, at which time additional injections may be required to achieve an optimal result.