When you think about Botox® injections, you probably only think about its uses in cosmetic procedures, like smoothing out wrinkles. While it’s true that Botox can work miracles in transforming your appearance, it also can have a lot of benefits for your dental health, too.
Botox is particularly useful in treating disorders of the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. These disorders are often very difficult to treat with other means. Botox injected into the temporomandibular joint can provide relief. Dr. Joseph Z. Yousefian of Yousefian Orthodontics for Children, Teens and Adults in Bellevue, Washington, explains more about how Botox can help TMJ issues.
What is TMJ?
Disorders of the temporomandibular joint, also called TMD, are difficult to treat. Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) should normally work as a hinge that connects to your jaw.
When you have a TMJ disorder, you may experience headaches and other types of jaw pain. If you’ve previously sought treatment, you may not have gotten much relief. But Dr. Yousefian may have new alternative options.
The symptoms of TMJ
TMJ causes many symptoms, but they’re usually similar for most people. They may include the following:
- Joint or muscular pain, especially when opening or closing your jaw
- Limited jaw movement
- Cracking or popping sounds, especially when moving your jaw
- Ear pain
- Discomfort when opening your jaw
- Swelling in your face or jaw
- Lockjaw in cases of extreme stress
You may have TMJ as a result of previous dental work or even as the result of an accident.
What can be done for TMJ
If you have TMJ, your previous attempts to seek treatment may have left you still experiencing pain. However, Dr. Yousefian has alternative techniques that may provide real relief at last. You may try relaxation techniques, hot or cold packs applied to your jaw, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, and mouth guards.
Botox injections are another option for treating TMJ. While Botox is often used to smooth out wrinkles in your face, it can also be used to treat TMJ disorders.
Botox is the commercial name of onabotulinum A, a toxin when present in much larger concentrations. When this toxin is refined and purified, very small amounts are injected into an area that’s having muscle spasms.
When injected in parts of your face that are showing signs of premature wrinkles, Botox can stop these muscular contractions.
Similarly, when injected into the muscles of your jaw, it can stop the pain of TMJ altogether.
Are there drawbacks to Botox for TMJ?
Whether you’ll receive relief from your TMJ disorder with Botox injections depends on the complexity of your case.
Most people respond well to Botox therapy for TMJ. However, it is associated with some side effects, which may include bruising, redness, or weakness at the injection site.
If you try Botox therapy for TMJ and it doesn’t work for you, Dr. Yousefian has more options available. The one thing that’s clear is that you shouldn’t have to suffer with the pain of TMJ anymore.
Contact Yousefian Orthodontics for Children, Teens and Adults today or request an appointment online.