Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge joint that connects your jaw to your skull. This unique joint slides and rotates, allowing you to chew, talk, yawn, and swallow smoothly. You might not think too much about this joint unless it hurts.
TMJ disorder refers to a problem with your temporomandibular joint as well as your jaw muscles and nerves. Left untreated, your jaw might pop or click, and it can become painful and difficult to move.
Because TMJ disorder can impact your quality of life and your ability to get adequate nutrition, we emphasize diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorder here at Ardsley Dental Spa in Ardsley, New York.
In addition to at-home remedies such as stress management or facial massage, Dr. Hinna Chaudhry may suggest Botox® injections for your TMJ disorder.
New to the idea of Botox injections for noncosmetic issues? Here’s what you need to know about Botox for TMJ disorder.
How Botox reduces TMJ disorder symptoms
While Botox is well-known primarily for its cosmetic uses, the reality is that it offers many medical benefits. In fact, Botox was first invented to treat an eye condition! Now, Botox is used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions, including TMJ disorder.
As a neurotoxin, Botox gently relaxes specific muscles, such as the temporalis muscle. Your temporalis muscle runs from your temporal bone to your cheekbone. When it becomes tense or inflamed, it can exacerbate your TMJ discomfort as well as cause headaches.
Because Botox injections can relax this muscle, it can lead to a reduction of many of the symptoms associated with a TMJ disorder, including:
- Jaw pain
- Muscle tension
Researchers have found that injections into your temporalis and masseter muscles relax these muscles and can help with bruxism (teeth grinding), which is a risk factor for TMJ pain.
Effective treatment for TMJ disorder
Botox injections reduce jaw pain, but that’s not the only benefit. According to clinical trial data, these injections offer the following benefits for at least three months post-injection:
- Chronic pain relief
- Improved jaw mobility (ability to open the mouth wide)
- Reduced muscle tension
- Improved psychological state
Botox injections can also reduce the number and intensity of tension headaches caused by TMJ disorder, according to another study.
Botox fits into other treatment plans
TMJ disorder has many causes, including bruxism, stress, lack of sleep, and poor posture. In addition to Botox injections, you may find that at-home remedies take your symptom relief to the next level.
For example, if high stress levels are causing bruxism-related TMJ pain, you may find relief from Botox injections while you explore stress management techniques. These could include exercise, time management, meditation, deep breathing, and calming music.
Should you seek Botox for TMJ pain?
If you have jaw pain that’s accompanied by clicking or popping noises, difficulty opening your mouth, pain, and headaches, it’s time to schedule your TMJ consultation.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms and the cause of your TMJ pain, Dr. Chaudhry may suggest Botox injections or possibly a nightguard to manage your bruxism.
Don’t live your life with constant jaw pain. Call Ardsley Dental Spa at 914-348-9815, or simply request your visit online.