The temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) is located on both sides of the head at the point where the jawbone meets the skull. The temporo-mandibular joint 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, neck aches, dizziness, earaches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus), as well as clicking, popping, locking and/or pain in the jaw.
Some side effects of grinding include teeth sensitivity, dry mouth and morning breath.
Our dentists may prescribe you with an acrylic nightguard to protect your teeth from damage, correct your bite that may be triggering muscle spasms, and potentially de-program your jaw muscles back from a state of overactivity.
Botox was once reserved for lessening the tell-tale signs of aging, such as annoying wrinkles and frown lines. But more recently Botox injections are being used frequently in dental offices as a great alternative treatment for more troublesome maladies such as TMD, which may include headache, clenching/grinding and sleep bruxism. Scientific studies have shown that patients who received Botox injections experienced significant improvements in pain, function, ability to open their mouth and levels of tenderness to palpation. Botox relieves jaw tension by making muscles unable to engage in the powerful, often unconscious movement of the jaw that produces headaches and pain.
Botox works by blocking nerve signals that cause uncontrollable muscle movements, essentially relaxing the muscles.
What’s Involved in Botox TMJ Treatment?
Botox injections take only 10 to 15 minutes, full effects seen in 10-14days and remain effective for anywhere between three to six months. Therefore, like its cosmetic counterpart, Botox TMD treatments must be repeated every few months depending on the patient. Most patients who receive Botox treatments regularly after a year to two, have noticed the decrease frequency as well as dosage needs for retreatment due to the fact that their muscles have atrophied(shrunken) over time. Therefore, the need for Botox treatment can decrease from 3-4 times a year to maintenance treatment of 1-2 times a year.
Risks and Benefits of Botox Treatment for Jaw Tension
The benefits of Botox treatment for TMD are many. For people suffering from soreness and pain resulting from problems with the temporo-mandibular joint, Botox injections often provide substantial relief as well as safeguard dental health, since excessive grinding can result in worn down or even fractured 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. some rare but potential complications include bruising and bleeding at injection sites, muscle ache at injection site, or excessive paralysis of the muscles in the areas treated resulting in difficulty chewing very hard foods.
Cost of Botox TMJ Treatment?
The cost of the Botox TMD treatment will vary based on the severity of your condition (and therefore, how many Botox injections are needed). Botox treatment is charged on a per-visit basis. The cost of Botox is $10.00 per unit. a typical dose for masseter injection to treat bruxism is 40 units. We are currently offering complimentary consultations for all new Botox patients.
Some interesting facts:
– Botox is effective for DYNAMIC wrinkles only (wrinkles present with muscular effort but vanish at rest).
– 2008 study showed all  participants showed improvement with significant relief from bruxism and associated muscle tension and headaches.
– 3-4 treatments are typically sufficient to manage hypertrophic masseter and bruxism.
– Botox is equally effective in treating bruxism as splints. Splints are protective vs Botox is curative [in theory] by reducing muscle activity.
Beautiful smiles are some of our favourite things! Call us for a consultation today – (403) 562-2236!