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Does Botox Help TMJ?

Jaw tension and jaw pain can significantly decrease quality of life. When pain occurs in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is the hinge that allows the mouth to open, speak, and chew, it can be very distressing. Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) can also evoke other symptoms, such as severe tension headaches or migraines, jaw dysfunction and lockjaw, jaw clenching, teeth grinding, and neck, shoulder, or ear pain. Often, when looking to treat TMJ disorders, dentists will first prescribe a mouth guard to prevent damage to the enamel on the teeth, but this does nothing to address the underlying issue of tension in the jaw muscles and joints. Luckily, patients can turn to an expert, board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Michele Green in NYC for a solution that works wonders to reduce jaw tension and pain: Botox injectable treatment.

When most patients hear “Botox treatment,” they immediately think of a treatment used to treat wrinkles and promote a more youthful appearance. While Botox is frequently used cosmetically, it is also FDA-approved to treat a wide variety of medical conditions – many pertaining to abnormal muscle contractions, such as muscle spasms or twitches. Botox works to relax the muscle at the injection site to relieve tension there and prevent muscle contractions, which is why Botox is the ideal solution for TMJ disorders. When Botox is used to address TMJ, symptoms such as muscle tension along the face and jaw, jaw dysfunction, teeth grinding, and jaw clenching are eliminated. When looking to treat TMJ disorders, expert, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green, turns to Botox as a safe and effective way to reduce jaw and joint pain.

Dr. Michele Green is an internationally renowned board-certified cosmetic dermatologist with over two and a half decades of experience providing her patients from around the world with the best non-invasive treatment options available, including Botox injections for TMJ. Castle Connolly, Super Doctors, and New York Magazine consistently vote Dr. Green as one of New York City’s best physicians for her holistic approach, ‘less is more’ philosophy, and dedication to her patients and expertise. As one of the first dermatologists in New York to incorporate the use of Botox into the treatment plans of her patients, Dr. Green has helped countless patients get relief from the symptoms of TMJ with Botox injections. When you consult with Dr. Green at her private dermatology office in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, she will work with you to develop a customized Botox treatment plan that best suits your needs and goals.

What is TMJ disorder?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jawbone (also known as the mandible) to the skull on either side of the face and works as a hinge allowing you to open your mouth, chew, and speak. The temporomandibular jaw joint is surrounded by jaw muscles, including the temporalis and masseter muscles, which contract to allow for movement of the jaw. Temporomandibular joint disorders can occur when swelling or displacement of the joint occurs, resulting in facial pain, including jaw tension, tension headaches or migraines, swelling around the jaw, ear, shoulder, or neck soreness, and lockjaw. TMJ disorders can be caused by a variety of risk factors, including grinding your teeth – also known as bruxism, – clenching your jaw, excessive use of the masseter muscles for chewing, and general stress or anxiety. TMJ disorders can lead to excessive and acute pain, leading many patients to look for any options for pain relief.

What are TMJ symptoms?

The onset of TMJ disorders are highly disruptive to daily life as they can affect a patient’s ability to chew, swallow, and speak. Furthermore, TMJ disorders are associated with a high amount of persistent pain and discomfort. TMD symptoms can include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Pain while opening the jaw, chewing, swallowing, or speaking, or inability to open the jaw fully or jaw dysfunction (known as lockjaw)
  • Tension headaches or migraines
  • Earaches or ringing in your ear, neck aches, shoulder pain
  • Swelling of the facial muscles
  • Jaw clicking
  • Sharp pain in the face

For many patients suffering from TMJ disorder, the symptoms are persistent and pervasive. As such, it is best to seek out a medical professional, such as board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Green, for the treatment options that truly work to alleviate pain.

What is the best TMJ treatment?

There are many treatment options for TMD with some procedures proving more effective than others. Often, for patients who clench their jaw or grind their teeth, dentists will start by prescribing a mouth guard or a splint to prevent damage to the enamel when teeth grinding occurs at night. While sleeping with a night guard works to prevent tooth damage, it does not address the underlying issue of muscle tension and is ineffective for patients who may grind their teeth during the day. Some treatment plans include physical therapy, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories, or alternative treatment, such as acupuncture, which can help to relax the facial muscles and reduce stress. However, the most effective treatment for muscle relaxation in the face is Botox injectable treatment. The use of Botox for treating TMD is becoming increasingly common practice at dermatology and dental offices, as Botox works for prevent hypertrophy of the masseter muscles, which eases facial pain, allowing patients to address other underlying causes of TMD.

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What is Botox treatment?

When most patients think of Botox treatment, they think of Botox being used in conjunction with dermal fillers for cosmetic purposes. While Botox is often and effectively used cosmetically, the treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat a variety of medical conditions, including to address muscle spasms, hyperhidrosis, cervical dystonia, blepharospasm, and strabisums. Botox is comprised of the active ingredient botulinum toxin type A, which is a neurotoxin that blocks neurotransmitters at the site of a muscle. The botulinum toxin is injected into the muscle and works to prevent the muscle from contracting, causing it to freeze and relax. This works cosmetically to smooth out dynamic wrinkles caused by repeated muscle contraction, and medically to relax overused muscles or prevent muscle spasms.

Can Botox injections help TMJ?

Botox injections are in fact one of the most effective treatments for TMJ disorders. According to a study done in 2012, researchers found that Botox worked to significantly reduce the symptoms of TMD, including severe jaw pain, swelling, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and lockjaw. Botox treatment works wonders for the vast majority of TMJ patients with another study showing that 90% of participants showed significant improvement with Botox injections to address their TMD. Botox injections are commonly practiced by dermatologists, such as Dr. Green, and dentists when creating a treatment plan for TMJ. When you have your initial consultation with Dr. Green, she will examine the treatment area and determine the number of injections necessary to reduce the pain resulting from TMD.

How does Botox help TMJ and TMD?

Botox treatment is comprised of the neurotoxin botulinum toxin type A, which works to relax the muscles at the injection site. TMJ disorders can often be caused by overuse of the masseter muscle, such as grinding the teeth and clenching the jaw (bruxism). Bruxism can result in jaw tension and TMJ disorders with many painful symptoms. When Botox is injected into the masseter muscle, it prevents the facial muscle from clenching and causes them to relax. As a result, the pain cause from tension in the muscle goes away. An additional effect of Botox treatment is that it helps with facial esthetics to slim the face. Overuse of the masseter muscle can lead to a bulking up of face, leading to a square jawline. When Botox is injected, the muscle relaxes and as a result, the jawline becomes slimmer and more youthful looking, which is a convenient side effect of the treatment.

The Botox procedure itself for TMJ is simple, effective, and easy to access at a dermatologist or dentist’s office. After your initial consultation with Dr. Green, she will determine the number of injections necessary to effectively treat your TMD and the injection sites. Most patients feel minimal discomfort during the procedure itself but Dr. Green’s office may apply a topical numbing cream to further reduce any potential pain. After the procedure, patients can immediately return to their regularly scheduled activities. Some patients may experience mild side effects in the days following the treatment, such as swelling, bruising, redness, or soreness at or near the injection site. Dr. Green recommends applying a cold pack to the injection site to reduce the potential discomfort of these side effects while avoiding massaging the treatment area to prevent the Botox from spreading. In rare cases, patients may experience more severe side effects, including flu-like symptoms and/or muscle weakness.

Does Botox help TMJ pain permanently?

Botox is a highly effective treatment in reducing the pain that is a symptom of TMJ disorders, including headaches, migraines, swollen facial muscles, soreness and pain in the neck, shoulders, and ears, and jaw dysfunction. The effects of Botox, while very effective at reducing pain, are only temporary, lasting between 3 and 4 months. Over time, the body metabolizes the botulinum toxin and the effects will begin to wear off. However, the Botox procedure can be repeated every four months in order to maintain the results of the treatment. When you have your appointment with Dr. Green, she will help to determine the treatment plan that will keep you pain free over time.

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a condition that occurs as a result of chronic jaw clenching and teeth grinding. The condition leads to an overworking of the masseter muscle, which can lead to jaw tension, TMJ, lockjaw, clicking of the jaw during movement, tension headaches, damage to the enamel, and gum sensitivity. Bruxism is a common condition that can range in severity and cause chronic pain and lasting damage to the teeth and temporomandibular joint. There are several risk factors that can contribute to the development of bruxism and one of the most common is stress. When we experience stress or anxiety, it causes our body to tense up. This tension is frequently held in the muscles along the jaw, which can lead to the characteristic jaw clenching of bruxism. High consumption of caffeinated beverages or alcohol as well is taking certain anti-depressants can also be risk factors in the development of bruxism, and patients with a family history of the condition may be more likely to experience bruxism as well.

Does Botox help bruxism?

Botox is one of the best treatment solutions when it comes to addressing bruxism. Bruxism is characterized by hypertrophy (or overuse) of the masseter muscles in the jaw, which leads to tension, swollen facial muscles, soreness, and pain. The use of Botox injections in the masseter muscles is highly effective in releasing the tension in the muscles on either side of the head. Botox works to relax the muscle and prevent it from contracting, which prevents teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Alleviating the pain associated with bruxism can also help patients to focus on addressing underlying causes of the condition, such as stress and anxiety, without having to deal with the stress of chronic pain.

CS Before after 1 session Botox masseter MGWatermark 1

Does Botox help jaw clicking?

Jaw clicking can be a symptom of bruxism or temporomandibular joint disorders and is characterized by a clicking sound when you move your jaw to chew or speak. Jaw clicking occurs when there is too much tension in the temporomandibular joint or the temporomandibular joint is damaged in some way, inhibiting the typically smooth movement of the joint. With TMJ tension or damage, the jaw is unable to move properly, resulting in a clicking sound, which is typically accompanied by the inability to fully open the jaw. When tension in the jaw muscles is a result of hypertrophy of the masseter muscle and bruxism, Botox is an excellent solution. The Botox injection works to relax the muscle, which reduces the tension in the muscle and the temporomandibular joint, causing the jaw to work smoothly again.

Does Botox help with grinding teeth?

Teeth grinding, a condition known as bruxism, can occur when stress or other environmental factors causes the muscles in the jaw to tense up. The tension in the jaw brings the teeth together, resulting in grinding that can occur both at night and during the day. Often, dentists will prescribe a night guard or splint to help prevent damage as a result of teeth grinding but that does not treat the underlying issue of the jaw tension. That is why Botox is a very effective solution for teeth grinding. When Botox is injected into the muscles of the jaw, the botulinum toxin prevents the muscle from contracting, which, in turn, keeps the jaw loose and keeps you from grinding your teeth even in your sleep. Botox for teeth grinding can be performed at a dentist’s or a dermatologist’s office.

Can Botox help with jaw clenching?

Jaw clenching is one of the characteristics of the condition bruxism and occurs when tension in the jaw muscles results in grinding your teeth, headaches and migraines, and facial pain. Since jaw clenching results from overactivity from the masseter muscle, Botox is the perfect solution to alleviate the symptoms of jaw clenching. The Botox treatment essentially freezes the muscle, which causes it to relax and prevents it from clenching for up to three months following treatment.

Does Botox help lockjaw?

Lockjaw is another symptom of TMJ disorders, which occurs when the tension in the temporomandibular joint is so severe that patients can no longer fully open their jaw. Lockjaw can be extremely painful and can prevent patients from being able to speak, chew, and swallow without pain. Experiencing lockjaw is very disruptive to daily life but luckily, Botox is a very effective solution. Lockjaw is caused by tension in the face and when Botox is injected into the facial muscles, that tension melts away, effectively unlocking the jaw. Botox treatment helps to restore the full range of motion to the jaw and eliminate the persistent pain of lockjaw.

Does Botox help TMJ ear pain?

One potential symptom of TMJ disorders is ear pain that results from the tension in the temporomandibular joint and the facial muscles along the jawline. The tension can affect many areas around the jaw including the neck, shoulders, and ears. Ear pain as a result of TMJ can be acute and persistent and can also cause ringing in the ear. Botox for TMJ also helps to reduce ear pain as a result of tension in the joint and the muscles. In much the same way as how Botox reduces other symptoms such as lockjaw, jaw clenching, and teeth grinding, the treatment works to relax the muscle and erase the tension in the jaw. When the tension disappears, the relaxation affects the surrounding areas, including the ears, eliminating the TMJ ear pain.

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Does masseter Botox help TMJ?

Tension in or overuse of the masseter muscle can cause TMJ to occur. Bruxism, characterized by jaw clenching or teeth grinding, can result in swelling, tension, displacement, and dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint, which can lead to TMJ disorders. As such, when Botox is injected into the masseter muscle, Botox works to reduce the symptoms of TMJ as well. Botox for TMJ is an excellent “off-label” use of the treatment. This means that while Botox is not currently FDA approved to treat TMJ, it is still highly effective, especially when employed by a highly experienced injector, such as Dr. Green. The fact that Botox for TMJ is not yet FDA approved does mean that the treatment is typically not covered by patients’ insurance company.

Does a dentist deal with TMJ? Is Botox for TMJ a part of dentistry?

TMJ can wreak havoc on the jaw and can lead to damage or sensitivity to the enamel and gums. As such, dentists will often deal with TMJ as they hope to prevent damage and reduce pain in the jaw. Many dentists will start by prescribing night guards to prevent damage from teeth grinding but more and more, dentists are turning to Botox to help treat the underlying cause of bruxism and TMJ, which is tension in the masseter muscle. Botox can be performed at a dentist’s office or at the office of a board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Green.

How does a dentist correct TMJ?

TMJ can be addressed at a dentist’s office in a variety of ways. Primarily, dentists are looking to reduce pain in the jaw, eliminate jaw tension, and prevent jaw clenching or teeth grinding from causing damage to the enamel or the gums. One of the ways that dentists may address the issue of TMJ is through a mouth guard. A mouth guard protects the enamel from the effects of teeth grinding while patients are sleeping but is not effective for those who may grind their teeth during the day. That is why many dentists are turning to Botox to help correct TMJ, as Botox works to relax the muscle and reduce tension for the entirety of the time that the treatment is in effect.

Is TMJ a medical or dental problem?

TMJ can be considered both a medical and a dental problem. Jaw clenching and teeth grinding can cause damage to the enamel, which is largely a dental concern, but the muscle tension, lockjaw, and acute pain from TMJ can also be considered a medical problem. Ultimately, both dentists and other medical professionals, such as board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Green, know that Botox is an effective treatment to reduce the symptoms of TMJ disorders and prevent damage to the temporomandibular joint, the jaw, and the teeth. Whether you seek treatment from a dentist or a dermatologist, Botox is an effective solution to the pain and discomfort of TMJ.

Is Botox a good treatment for TMJ?

Botox is an incredibly effective treatment for the symptoms of TMJ. Botox injections into the masseter muscles can help eliminate facial pain and soreness, reduce tension headaches, and manage other various symptoms of TMJ. It is always recommended that your Botox treatment is performed by an experienced and knowledgeable medical professional, such as Dr. Michele Green in NYC, with the expertise required to provide you with your ideal results. Dr. Green is an internationally renowned leader in the field of cosmetic dermatology with over 25 years of experience providing her patients from around the world with the best non-invasive treatment options available, including Botox injections for TMJ. She is consistently voted as one of New York City’s best physicians by Castle Connolly, New York Magazine, and Super Doctors for her dedication to her patients and expertise. Dr. Green was among the first dermatologists in NYC to incorporate the use of Botox injections into her private practice, located in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan. When you consult with Dr. Green for your Botox treatment, she will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that is best suited to your specific skin concerns and goals. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Green and get started with Botox for TMJ, contact us online today, or call 212-535-3088.

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