The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is a joint in the jaw that helps attach the lower jaw to the skull. Patients suffering from TMJ disorders are at risk for unbearable neck or jaw pain which can cause a hindrance in their daily life. Some of the common symptoms of this disorder are chronic pain, headaches, muscle spasms, and a stiff jaw. If the TMJ disorder is left untreated, it can lead to ear pain, depression, malnutrition, and eating disorders resulting from the pain. If you suffer from TMJ disorder, Botox treatments can help treat this condition.
How does Botox work?
The temporomandibular joint is located on both sides of the head, where the skull connects the jawbone. This joint is used for carrying out daily activities, such as speaking, chewing, biting, and swallowing. The primary causes of TMJ pain are jaw displacement and stress-related involuntary jaw movements. Botox helps relieve temporomandibular tension by relaxing the jaw muscles, thus preventing unconscious jaw movement and ending grinding-related headaches.
One of the significant benefits of the Botox procedure is that normal functions such as speaking, swallowing, and biting are left unaffected, and it works in the reduction of pain and discomfort. In addition, controlling TMJ can also prevent serious dental problems from arising later. TMJ, if left untreated, can contribute to tooth decay, gum disease, and the loosening of teeth.
What is involved in treating TMJ disorders by using Botox?
Botox treatment for TMJ disorder is a non-invasive, outpatient procedure. It can be performed in the dental clinic, and each session typically takes about 15-30 minutes. The entire treatment consists of at least three injection sessions over the course of several months.
Botox will be injected by your dentist into your forehead, temple, and jaw muscles. The other areas may also be injected depending on the symptoms. The number of Botox injections required to treat TMJ disorder will be based on an individual patient’s need. The pain from the injection can be eased with a numbing lotion or an ice pack. Though some improvement can be felt within a day or two of treatment, it usually takes several days to feel relief. People who have undergone Botox treatment for TMJ can return to their daily routine immediately after the procedure. The patient should remain upright and avoid massaging or rubbing the injected area for several hours after the treatment. By doing so, the toxins can be prevented from spreading to other muscles.
What are the major benefits offered by Botox to TMJ sufferers?
The major benefits of Botox for TMJ patients are as follows:
- Botox injections help eliminate headaches caused by night-time grinding.
- The locking of the jaw is reduced.
- There is decreased uneasiness when using the jaw.
- The shoulder and neck pain is substantially reduced.
- The tension in the jaw is lessened.
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