How to Treat
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull and acts as a sliding hinge which enables you to speak, chew, and yawn. TMJ disorder, also known as bruxism, can lead to headaches, bite problems, ear pain, stiffness, clicking, and locked jaw. Although BOTOX® and Dysport® are often thought of as a treatment for wrinkles, they also have therapeutic uses to help relieve the symptoms of TMJ disorder.
Some benefits of using neuromodulators include:
- Eliminating headaches caused by nighttime grinding.
- Minimizing lockjaw.
- Reducing discomfort of the jaw and jaw tension.
Does It Work
The cause of TMJ disorders is still a mystery, but certain injuries such as car accidents can trigger them. Stress-related behaviors such as teeth grinding and jaw clenching, which occur mostly during sleep, can also cause TMJ disorders. These disorders arise from the overexertion of the masseter muscles and the constant pressure on the joint. BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport® temporarily weaken these muscles, making them unable to engage in powerful and unconscious movement of the jaw that produces pain.
TMJ disorders can also cause the masseter muscles to expand and become larger, changing the shape of the face. Since BOTOX® and Dysport® treatments cause the muscles to relax, the size of the muscle also begins to shrink, giving you a more defined jawline.
One of the advantages of using neuromodulators as a treatment for TMJ disorders is that normal functions such as speaking, swallowing, and biting are not affected.
If any of the following symptoms apply to you, you may be a candidate for TMJ disorder treatment with BOTOX® and Dysport®:
- Tooth soreness not related to decay.
- Ear pain, ringing, or stuffiness.
- Pain behind or around the eyes.
- Sore or fatigued jaw muscles or lock-jaw.
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw when opening or closing the mouth.
- Frequent headaches or migraines (one of the most common symptoms of TMJ disorders).
- Difficulty chewing or an uncomfortable bite.
BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport® are safe alternatives to traditional treatments of TMJ disorders such as trigger-point point injections and radio wave therapy. If TMJ disorders are left untreated, it can result in future dental complications such as tooth decay, gum disease, and loosening of the teeth.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please contact our office to discuss other treatment options.
At the time of your appointment, Dr. Ellie Zarnegar assesses your jaw to see if BOTOX®and Dysport® injections are the right treatment for you. She will then strategically administer the injections into the masseter muscles. Most patients experience immediate relief after the injections and full results within 2 weeks. Treatments typically last 3-4 months. By keeping the muscles weak for a prolonged period of time, BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport® treatments can actually help to break the habit of grinding teeth when stressed leading to relief from TMJ disorders.