BOTOX® Treatment for TMJ Disorders
Increasingly, BOTOX® is used as an alternative treatment for TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders, headaches and associated jaw tension and facial pain. When injected into the jaw, head and facial muscles afflicted with soreness and discomfort, BOTOX relieves TMJ pain and jaw tension for many patients. The injections often eliminate the headaches resulting from tooth grinding and jaw clenching. Although BOTOX treatment for these conditions is presently considered “off-label”, recent evidence indicates that it can be extremely effective.
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How does BOTOX treat jaw tension and TMJ Disorders?
Located on both sides of the head at the point where the jawbone meets the skull, the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) is used during talking, eating, swallowing, and other everyday activities. If this joint becomes inflamed, displaced or is overworked through excessive tooth grinding or jaw clenching, a person may suffer severe tension headaches, as well as sharp pain in the jaw and associated muscles. The muscled primarily involved are the jaw elevator muscles called the Masseter and Temporalis muscles. BOTOX relieves jaw tension by preventing these muscles from engaging in the powerful, often unconscious movement of the jaw that produces headaches and facial pain.
The BOTOX alternative treatment for TMJ disorders and jaw tension is usually quick, straightforward, and effective. As a non-surgical procedure, BOTOX injections are personally administered by Dr. Klausner in the office setting. Most patients experience noticeable improvement within two-to-three days following their first treatment, although relief can take up to a week for certain individuals.
Candidates for BOTOX TMJ Treatment
BOTOX appears to be a safe alternative to traditional treatment for most people who experience jaw tension or have a TMJ disorder. During the initial consultation, Dr. Klausner will carefully review every prospective patient’s medical history before beginning treatment. Patients must disclose whether they are using any medications, drugs, or other substances that could negatively interact with BOTOX. They should also report any allergies they have to avoid a possible negative reaction to BOTOX. People with jaw tension or TMJ disorders who are not able to have BOTOX injections will be advised to undergo a more traditional treatment.
Risks and Benefits of BOTOX Treatment for TMJ
For people suffering from soreness and pain resulting from problems with the temporo-mandibular joint, BOTOX injections often provide substantial relief. While reducing the ability of jaw and facial muscles to engage in problematic grinding, BOTOX allows them to perform daily activities such as talking, chewing, and swallowing. This makes the BOTOX alternative treatment for jaw tension a convenient, effective option for many people. In addition, the treatment can help safeguard dental health, since excessive grinding can result in worn teeth and damaged gums that may require costly treatment.
While BOTOX treatment for TMJ disorders appears to be safe, certain medications, intoxicants, and other substances can minimize or negatively impact the effectiveness of BOTOX injections. For this reason, patients should honestly disclose any medication or substance use to their doctor prior to treatment. In some cases, patients have experienced bruising and mild bleeding at injection sites, or temporary paralysis of the muscles in the areas treated. Although complications are rare, all possible risks should be discussed with a doctor prior to treatment.
Will insurance cover BOTOX TMJ treatment?
The use of BOTOX for TMJ disorders and headaches is usually covered by medical insurance plans. However, because TMJ problems are often considered a dental issue, it is conceivable that some dental insurance companies will ultimately cover BOTOX injections as a means of preventing damage to the gums and teeth caused by excessive jaw grinding. Although dental insurers have yet to cover this treatment, it is becoming an increasingly popular treatment alternative.