A Quick Guide to Botox Treatment For TMJ

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If you live in Deerfield, Chicago, or the Northern Suburbs and you’re interested in Botox treatment for TMJ, contact Smile On Dental & Sleep Apnea Center. Our highly-trained dentists have thorough command of this simple yet very effective procedure that has positively affected the lives of countless TMJ sufferers. 

What Is TMJ?

TMJ is short for the temporo-mandibular joint, which is located on both sides of the head, where the skull and jawbone meet. This joint is one of the most-used in the human body, engaged during eating, swallowing, and talking. Given how active it is, it’s not uncommon for the TMJ to become displaced, or to become sensitive after long periods of teeth grinding. In both cases, severe tension headaches and a sharp pain in the jaw are the most common symptoms. 

How Does Botox Treat TMJ?

Over the last several years, Botox has become an increasingly popular form of treatment for people suffering from TMJ and the pain/jaw tension it entails. For many patients, a Botox injection into the afflicted facial muscles not only relieves jaw tension and TMJ, it also minimizes or eliminates headaches related to teeth grinding. Moreover, Botox is shown to be effective in combating lockjaw. 

A Botox treatment for TMJ doesn’t involve surgery. Instead, it’s a straightforward injection performed in our dentist’s office. Once injected, Botox relaxes the muscles that are responsible for the conscious and unconscious movement of the jaw, and relieves tension. The results tend to come quickly: only a day or two after the injection, many patients report significant improvement in the TMJ-affected area. 

Is The Treatment Painful?

The only pain associated with this form of treatment comes from the injection itself. Like any other shot, the pain is akin to a bug bite or a prick, and disappears quickly. Since some people react differently to shots than others, a cold pack or anesthetic cream can be used post-shot to numb the area. Bear in mind that you may experience numbness, redness, or bruising around the injection points, but rest assured this is mild and temporary. 

How Long Is The Procedure?

Depending on your symptoms, the dentist might recommend multiple injections, or just one. Regardless, the procedure itself takes around 30 minutes at most, and in some cases can be accomplished in just 10 minutes. Recovery time is minimal, and most patients can resume low-stress activities right away. What’s most important post-procedure is to avoid rubbing or massaging the injected area, since this could cause the treatment toxin to spread into other muscles. The dentist will also ask that you remain upright for a set amount of hours (determined by the dentist), and to refrain from strenuous physical activity during this time. 

Muscle tenderness will dissipate almost immediately, and any wrinkles in the area will begin to fade within one or two days of the injection.  

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