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Treating TMJ with BOTOX®

Posted by Dr. Sky Naslenas On May 22, 2019

As TMJ patients search for alternative treatments to manage their pain, a doctor may have suggested the possibility of trying Botox injections directly into the chewing (masseter and temporalis) muscles to relax these muscles. 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 lock jaw.

Firstly, what is TMJ?

Essentially, the temporomandibular joints are those areas directly in front of the ear where your upper and lower jaws meet. You can think of the TMJ as a hinge, allowing the upper jaw to close, but it’s more accurately described as a sliding ball and socket joint, with a disc in between. It’s responsible for moving the jaw when biting, chewing, talking, and yawing.

People with TMJ may experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain in or around the ear
  • Headaches and neck aches
  • Tenderness of the jaw or jaw muscles
  • Jaw pain or soreness that is more prevalent in the morning or late afternoon
  • Jaw pain when chewing, biting or yawning
  • Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
  • Clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth
  • Sensitive teeth when no other dental problems can be found

BOTOX INJECTION THERAPY

Treatment with botulinum toxin type A, more commonly known as BOTOX®, is generally associated with cosmetic procedures but it can also be used to treat TMJ issues. BOTOX® treatment is effective for tension-type headaches where the pain is caused, in large part, by persistent and chronic muscle contraction. By partially paralyzing the area using BOTOX® injections, a certified practitioner can significantly lessen the pain.

It is important to note that not all headaches and migraines respond as well to BOTOX® treatment. While tension and muscle-related headaches have shown favourable responses, other types (such as those that present with stabbing sensations in the cheek and next to the eye) are not as successfully treated with BOTOX®.

A good rule of thumb is that migraines and headaches that present as an inward pressure (compression, crushing, squeezing sensations) have a much higher response rate (greater than 80 per cent) than those presenting with outward pressure (exploding sensations), which show less than a 15 per cent response rate.

Each case presents differently and we will work with you to develop a treatment plan that specifically addresses the type of migraines from which you suffer and the locations in which they manifest. Our staff are very knowledgeable in the field and will take the time to discuss with you the treatment options available to you and whether you are a candidate for BOTOX® treatment.

The Pros and Cons of BOTOX® Treatment for TMJ

Pros

  • Provides immediate relief.
  • Its appeal goes beyond pain relief, as it often restores the normal facial expressions of the patient. Years and years of overusing the masseter muscles over develops the masseter (main chewing muscle), leading to a square face.

Cons

  • Dosages used for BOTOX® for TMJ are higher than when used for cosmetics.
  • Not a permanent fix. Treatment needs to be repeated every 3-6 months depending on the severity of the case.

OUR SUCCESS STORIES

We know that the most effective advertisements for the experts at Orthodontics Studio come from the testimonials of the people we’ve had the pleasure of helping.

Peruse the following success stories from people just like you who turned to Toronto’s leading authority on dental and orthodontic care.

“I’ve had migraines for 26 years. I’ve tried every migraine medication with no success. They either didn’t work or the side effects were intolerable. This migraine has lasted 1 year. I received Botox injections and woke up the next morning with no pain. Finally, relief with relatively little side effects. I would recommend this to anyone who has minimal relief from typical migraine medications.”

“I had a constant 24/7 headache for two years straight before trying Botox. I tried every other conceivable medication to no avail, but Botox cut my pain to a third of its previous level. I still get injections every four months or so, but it’s been three years and I still have the much lower pain level, can work, and am thankful everyday for Botox.”

“I’m very grateful the FDA approved this! I’ve suffered with debilitating migraines for 25 years now and have tried every medication prescribed and OTC, unfortunately the only thing that would take away the pain are narcotics. Since using Botox treatments my migraines are under control and down to approximately 4-5 a month compared to 20-25. I feel as though I have a life again and not living hour to hour, not having a life in fear of having a migraine. Also, VERY grateful to have good insurance that pays for this.”

Each case presents differently and Dr. Sky Naslenas works with her patients to develop a treatment plan that specifically addresses the type of migraines from which they suffer and the locations in which they manifest.

Please contact us at Orthodontic Studio to learn more about our BOTOX® treatment of migraine headaches.

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