Using BOTOX® injections can be very effective in treating certain types of TMJ issues. TMJ pain can be caused by excessive muscular contractions, from clenching, grinding or other parafunctional habits. In other words: overuse of muscle activity. Another term used is myofacial pain dysfunction. Tension, fatigue and muscle spasm may indicate the need for BOTOX® injections. In these cases, by ‘quieting’ the muscular contractions, there is less grinding, less clenching and, therefore, less pain.
If clinical evaluation shows signs of muscular stress that is causing pain, BOTOX® injections may be useful. Other treatment modalities include:
- Night guards or orthotic bite splints
- Mild analgesics such as NSAIDS
- A muscle relaxant or sedative at bedtime
- Physical therapy
Sometimes orthodontic treatment is necessary. These treatments can be utilized by themselves or with each other in order to find the most effective combination therapy.
My training with BOTOX® injections to help patients who are suffering from TMJ pain has been overwhelmingly positive. This is not BOTOX® injections for cosmetic reasons – this is for very specific jaw related issues. When applied in this scenario, it can be highly effective.
The potency of BOTOX® injections typically wears off after about three months. There is some evidence that after some treatments with BOTOX® injections, the muscle fibers do not fire as much and the long-term need for BOTOX® injections may diminish.
We are treating only muscles that we use when we chew. These muscles are the masseter, temporalis, occipitalis and sternocleidomastoid. It is completely safe and when used appropriately, can make an incredible difference for a person who is suffering from facial muscular pain of the jaw.
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