BOTOX® can often be an effective therapy for TMJ Disorder (also referred to as TMD). It can be quickly administered in our office, and sometimes patients feel immediate relief from the injection itself. In some cases, BOTOX® is used in conjunction with other remedies for more comprehensive relief.
TMJ Disorder is a common condition that can produce debilitating symptoms for some individuals. Our experienced dentist in Boulder, Dr. Marissa Patt, can meet with you for an initial oral evaluation and determine whether BOTOX® therapy is an ideal solution for your needs.
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What Is TMJ Disorder?
Temporomandibular joint disorder is characterized by chronic pain in the jaw area. The temporomandibular joint can become inflamed by grinding of the teeth and muscle clenching. This builds and elongates the masseter muscle, which is the muscle responsible for moving your jaw.
Enlarged (hypertrophied) masseter muscles can pull your bite out of alignment and put pressure on the jaw, leading to inflammation and pain that can spread to your neck, shoulders, and back.
How Can BOTOX® Injections Treat TMJ Disorder?
The BOTOX® solution is composed of a filtered form of botulinum toxin type A. When injected into the treatment area, the solution weakens the masseter muscle, reducing its tendency to clench and overcompensate. With less use, the muscle shrinks, and patients are less able to clench the jaws, which can ultimately lead to less inflammation and pain.
Patients typically see the most success when BOTOX® is used as adjunct therapy to massage, diet and lifestyle changes, and use of splints or mouthguards. Oral appliances stabilize the jaw and protect teeth from grinding. Warm compresses and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs can also help reduce swelling and pain. Sometimes physical therapy, stretching the jaw muscles, massage, and relaxation techniques are prescribed.
BOTOX® injections should not cause excessive discomfort, and can be administered right here at our practice. Patients usually experience improvement within 10 days, and the effects can last 3-6 months depending on the severity of the condition. Consecutive treatments can result in even longer intervals between treatment sessions. Again, BOTOX® is typically best used in conjunction with modifications to diet and lifestyle, as well as with oral appliances.