Most of us associate Botox with beauty, but while Botox does help keep us youthful and wrinkle-free it can also help with medical conditions such as TMJ.
What is TMJ?
TMJ is a disorder that affects the muscles and joints surrounding the jaw. TMJ causes tightness in the jaw often resulting in headaches, teeth grinding, and pain while chewing. Other symptoms include clicking and locking of the jaw, ear pain, and muscle stiffness. Another unpleasant symptom is that the jaw can appear swollen and bulky due to the overactivity of the muscles.
How does Botox treat TMJ?
Botox is a neurotoxin meaning it temporarily relaxes the muscles in the area where it is injected. For a patient with TMJ, Botox will be injected into the forehead, temples, and jaw muscles. It takes about 10-14 days for the Botox to take full effect. The Botox will block the signals between the nerves and muscles causing the tension in the jaw to subside. Depending on the amount of Botox the patient receives the symptoms of TMJ will decrease or completely stop.
How long does the treatment last?
The treatment lasts for about 3-6 months varying from person to person. Like with all Botox treatments the results will last depending on the patient’s metabolism. During those months the patient will experience a better quality of sleep, fewer headaches, and the jaw will be less tender. Once the Botox wears off in a couple of months more injections will be required in order to keep the jaw muscles relaxed.
What are the side effects?
The actual process of receiving Botox will last about 30 minutes and afterward, there is no downtime. As when receiving Botox for aesthetic purposes the side effects of receiving Botox for TMJ are minimal. The patient may experience redness at the injection site, slight swelling, and bruising. All side effects last between a few hours to a day and should go away on their own.