BOTOX® Treatment for Jaw Tension and TMJ
Increasingly, BOTOX® is used as an alternative treatment for TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) disorders and associated jaw tension and pain. When injected into facial muscles afflicted with soreness and discomfort, BOTOX® relieves TMJ and jaw tension for many patients. The injections often eliminate headaches resulting from teeth grinding, and, in cases of severe stress, BOTOX® can even minimize lockjaw. Although BOTOX® treatment for these conditions is presently experimental, evidence indicates that it can be extremely effective.
How Does BOTOX® Treat Jaw Tension and TMJ Disorder?
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 displaced or is overworked through excessive teeth grinding, a person may suffer severe tension headaches, as well as sharp pain in the jaw. BOTOX® relieves jaw tension by making muscles unable to engage in the powerful, often unconscious movement of the jaw that produces headaches and pain.
The BOTOX® alternative treatment for TMJ disorders and jaw tension is usually quick, straightforward, and effective. A non-surgical procedure, BOTOX® injections are administered in a doctor’s office, and treatment requires no hospital stay. Most patients experience noticeable improvement within one or two days of their first treatment, although relief can take up to a week.
Candidates for BOTOX® Alternative Jaw Treatment
BOTOX® appears to be a safe alternative to traditional treatment for most people who experience jaw tension or have a TMJ disorder. Nevertheless, it is important for BOTOX® providers to screen patients to determine their eligibility for treatment. During the initial consultation, a doctor or dentist should 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 Jaw Tension
For people suffering from soreness and pain resulting from problems with the temporomandibular joint, BOTOX® injections often provide substantial relief. While reducing the ability of 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 physician prior to treatment. In some cases, patients have experienced bruising and bleeding at injection sites, or excessive 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?
Currently, the use of BOTOX® for TMJ disorders is not covered by medical insurance plans. However, because TMJ problems are largely a dental issue, it is conceivable that insurance companies will ultimately cover BOTOX® injections as a means of preventing damage to the gums and teeth caused by excessive jaw grinding. Although insurers have yet to cover this treatment, it is becoming increasingly popular among patients, doctors, and dentists.