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So many of us have bitten into something sticky, chewed gum, or chatted with a friend when suddenly we feel a clicking, popping, or painful sensation along the joint of the jaw. Our jaw muscles are some of the most active muscles in our body, operating regularly during the day and often storing tension at night. Unfortunately, this amount of activity can lead to misalignment, stress and, ultimately, pain along the Tepromandibular joint, also known as TMJ.

While pain or soreness around the jaw joint and lower jaw do not suggest serious issues for everyone, many patients experience intense pain, swelling, and chronic migraines as a result of TMJ disorders.

If you have been suffering with jaw pain, TMJ treatment can give you the relief you have been looking for. New York-based, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green is an expert in the use of Botox, including Botox to relieve symptoms of TMJ and treat the masseter muscle for facial slimming. Dr. Michele Green is a platinum level Botox physician, and utilizes Botox extensively to treat fine lines around the forehead, neck, crow’s feet, lips, and glabella area. Dr. Green will help determine if Botox for your TMJ is the best treatment option for you. Contact the office today to learn how Dr. Green can help treat your TMJ and finally experience the pain relief you’ve been looking for.

What is TMJ?

The Temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is where the jaw bone (mandible) connects to the skull (temporal bone), essentially operating like a sliding hinge on either side of the face. The connecting parts of the bones have a cartilage covering, and are separated by a small disk, designed to be shock-absorbent and keep jaw movements as smooth as possible.

Many patients feel jaw pain or discomfort along this joint. Years of clenching your teeth, both in waking hours and while you sleep, induce an overactive masseter muscle which grows larger and induces more discomfort. This jaw tension is most noticeable while you sleep, as it causes teeth grinding that can ultimately damage them. Research by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has estimated that more than 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ issues and have associated tension headaches, pain, tension, clicking and grinding. Botox treatment in the masseter muscle to relieve TMJ has fast become a simple, fast, and effective way to treat bruxism (teeth grinding).

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TMJ Disorder (TMD) Causes

Due to the strength of the muscles along the Temporomandibular joint, temporomandibular joint disorder, known as TMD, is quite common. TMD/TMJ is largely caused by jaw clenching, though many people who clench their jaws will never experience the burning pain and swelling that can occur with TMD. TMJ disorders can also be prompted by injury to the muscles of the jaw, head or neck, such as from a heavy blow or impact from the body. Additionally, pain from TMJ can be due to genetic factors or arthritis, as well as when the disk of the joint erodes or shifts from its proper alignment.

TMD/TMJ Symptoms

Symptoms of temporomandibular joint disease (TMD)/TMJ include:

  • Discomfort or soreness along the jaw
  • Jaw clicking or popping
  • Pain behind the eyes, neck, or shoulders
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Headaches, ranging from mild, dull aches to chronic migraines

Typically, those who experience symptoms of TMD experience symptoms cyclically and the pain can go away on its own or with minimal treatments (such as anti-inflammatories or alternating heating pads and cold packs along the jaw). However, returning symptoms or longer-term symptoms often cause enough pain to seek medical or dental treatment.

In the past, those suffering from TMJ pain have looked to mouth guards, bite guards or stabilization splints to improve jaw tension while sleeping. Sometimes, pain is so severe–varying from swollen jaw muscles to chronic migraines–that patients will experiment with “no-chew” diets, cognitive behavioral therapy, physical therapy, or even surgical intervention. Oftentimes, these treatments can lead to inconsistent results, which has led to the development of alternative treatments. Botox injections along the jaw are an innovative way to limit, reduce and, in some cases, eliminate TMJ/TMD symptoms.

How Botox injections can help

Botox (botulinum toxin) is a neurotoxin-based injectable cosmetic treatment that freezes muscles on and around an injection site, designed to relax the muscles and alleviate overuse. Though it’s more commonly used in the United States to treat crow’s feet and forehead wrinkles, Botox has been used in Asia for years to slim the face and facial muscles by injecting it directly into the masseter muscle. Many patients seek injections of the masseter muscle to have a more elongated, slimmer, face.  It turns out that this treatment has an incredibly positive side effect: by injecting Botox directly into this hypertrophic (overactive) muscle, its function decreases, which then diminishes the symptoms of common TMJ disorders.  Over time, with repeat Botox injections at 3 to 5 month intervals, the masseter muscle decreases in size, allowing the TMJ joint to relax and the symptoms to resolve.

Botox for TMJ is generally injected directly into the masseter muscle and, occasionally, other jaw muscles, such as the temporalis and frontalis muscles. There is no pain, bruising or down time associated with these TMJ injections. Dr. Green recommends that these Botox injections be repeated periodically for continued relief of TMJ symptoms. In time, with the continued weakening of the muscle through these Botox injections, your symptoms will resolve.

Relieving TMJ pain

In addition to Botox, Dr. Michele Green recommends limiting the amount of chewing gum or sticky candy you chew. Since the masseter muscle is one of the muscles activated during chewing, limiting excess chewing can help to relieve jaw tension, thus alleviating TMJ pain. Dr. Green also recommends dental night guards, as continual use prevents the unintentional teeth grinding and clenching of your jaw at night, thus limiting TMJ/TMD symptoms and damage to your teeth.

Many patients have functional impairment, pain, spams, lockjaw, headaches, or difficulty chewing and don’t realize that it is from TMJ, which can be easily and successfully treated with Botox. Dr. Green can help you work through these symptoms and arrive at a solution to your pain through Botox injections and other TMJ treatments.

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The Botox treatment Process for TMJ

The process for treating TMJ with Dr. Green is very straightforward. During the consultation. Dr. Green will examine your jaw, masseter muscles, and dental configuration. She will determine if Botox is the proper treatment to relieve your TMJ or for facial slimming. Photographs are taken before the procedure for your private medical records. Dr. Green marks the area of injection and is able to treat the area painlessly with Botox.

Two weeks later, you will return to the office for examination and additional photography to ensure complete treatment of the area. Additional suggestions such as night guards and other modifications may be added at that time.

Does Botox help jaw clenching?

As jaw clenching is a common cause of TMJ/TMD pain, it follows that Botox can be used to treat pain from jaw clenching. Botox for TMJ is able to target the muscles responsible for jaw clenching, such as the larger masseter muscle along the jaw, thus reducing the overactivity of the muscle over time.

Can Botox Cause Jaw Pain?

In extremely rare cases (less than 1% of reported symptoms), Botox injections can cause mild jaw pain and discomfort, however research is not conclusive if injections are the root cause of this reported jaw pain. While some may experience a mild pinch or soreness upon application of Botox to the jaw, a simple cold pack should resolve any discomfort post-procedure.

Does Botox Slim the Face?

If you’re wondering, can Botox lift the jawline?, or, does Botox jaw reduction really work?, the answer is a confident yes. Botox is designed to relax the muscles centered around the injection site and, when applied to the masseter muscle, it can actively reduce the strength and size of the muscle, thus slimming the jawline over time. For more information on this process, you can look at our information on Non-Surgical Jaw Reduction.

Is Botox Jaw Reduction Permanent?

The effects of Botox jaw reduction and Botox for TMJ are generally long-lasting, and effects of the treatment are usually apparent 2 weeks after treatment. Botox jaw reduction is incredibly effective, though it is not permanent. Supplementary injections may be needed at regular intervals, depending on your medical and aesthetic goals. Dr. Green will happily work with you to find the best treatment plan for your specific needs.

How Much Botox is needed for Jaw Reduction?

In order to determine how much jaw Botox is, either for jawline reduction or for TMJ, it’s important to consider how much Botox is needed for the jawline. Generally 50 units of Botox are injected (25 units on each side) as the preliminary dosage. All patients are brought back two weeks after an initial Botox for TMJ treatment to make sure that the muscle is frozen and to determine if additional Botox is needed in the area.

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How much does Botox for jaw reduction cost?

Botox is priced per area or by unit. The price of Botox for jaw reduction is generally $1,000. An experience cosmetic, board certified dermatologist, like Dr. Green, may be more expensive than a med spa or clinic with a nurse injector.

How long does Botox jaw reduction last?

Botox jaw reduction and botox for TMJ can last for several months but, depending on the severity of symptoms, multiple sessions may be needed. Botox is a non-permanent injectable and can last 3-5 months, depending on a patient’s natural metabolic process.

Are there any side effects associated with Botox for TMJ?

Some minimal side effects can occur after treatment, including redness around the injection site, as well as muscle weakness. The procedure is painless as Botox injections do not cause any discomfort in this area.

It is important to note that, though research on Botox treatments for TMJ has been positive, this alternative treatment has not yet been approved by the food and drug administration (FDA), meaning that it’s an “off-label use” for Botox injections. Due to this, it’s important that anyone committing to TMJ treatments via Botox be seen by an experienced medical professional, such as a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist, to ensure the safety of the procedure. Dr. Green is a master Botox cosmetic injection, including the use of Botox for TMJ treatment and facial slimming.

Is Botox jaw reduction permanent?

Botox injections are not permanent. However, due to Botox’s ability to relax the muscles which are injected, over time, the muscles becoming weaker, and the results last longer. With each subsequent treatment of Botox injections in the masseter muscle, the muscle gets smaller, TMJ relief lasts longer, and the cosmetic results of facial slimming continue to improve.

To find out more about Dr. Michele Green’s expertise in Botox for TMJ and facial slimming, in her private boutique NYC office, contact us online today, or call 212-535-3088 to learn more about how Botox injections for TMJ can be the best treatment for you.

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