Botox - TMJ Pain

Did you realize that Botox or other botulinum toxins are used for many other things besides to make facial wrinkles less prominent? Many suffer from TMJ (Temporo-Mandibular Joint) pain.  This disorder can be due to injuries to the teeth or jaw, grinding/clenching, gum chewing, stress, etc.  You may have very common symptoms of jaw pain with clicking and popping, headaches, temple pain, jaw muscle soreness, or even jaw locking.  

What can be done?  Well, you may need to see your dentist, but Botox or another neurotoxin or neuromodulator may be quite beneficial in alleviating the discomfort of jaw and head pain by reducing the tension of the muscles that act on the temporomandibular joint.  This quick treatment can be done after a consultation and exam in the office.

Questions and Answers:  

This will be my 1st time getting botulinum toxin injection for TMJ pain.  When do I need to come back?

1 month after your first injection, you may benefit from a booster injection.  After that, most come back every 3 months, however this is variable per person and results.

How long will it take for my results to start after my first injection?

Botox or other neuromodulator injections may take several weeks before maximum pain relief is reached. 

How long does it take to work?

Results occur with significant or complete reduction in 1-2 weeks after treatment.

Can I expect any changes in the way I chew?

Many do, in fact, find that chewing is more difficult.  When the neurotoxin is placed, we are weakening the muscles of chewing to reduce strain on the joint.  It is advised that while you are getting accustomed to these weaker chewing muscles, you take smaller bites and focus on just eating during meals.  Over time, you will get used to these new sensations.  It's likely that you’ve overworked these muscles and joints and it has developed into a severe joint disorder in this way.  This weakening is needed to reduce strain.   

Will my face shape change?

It will likely change some, in fact, many women who have a square lower face, get part of this injection done to do just that.  The masseter muscle, the large muscle at the back of the jaw near the ear is injected.  This is one of the big chewing muscles that is weakened with botulinum toxin medication during the procedure.  In doing so, the muscle will get smaller over time.  When this gets smaller, it thins out this part of the face, creating a more “feminine”, softer, appearing face.  

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