Got TMJ? Botox, the famed cosmetic drug, has been increasingly recognized as an alternative treatment for the pain associated with temporo-mandibular joint disorder, or TMJ.
Botox acts by relaxing the muscles it is injected into, which for jaw pain are usually the masseter or temporalis muscles. In addition to alleviating direct pain, Botox can relieve the headaches that result from teeth grinding, and help minimize the effects of lockjaw. If you experience swollen areas around your jaw as a result of TMJ, it can also decrease this effect.
Botox injections are non-surgical, and administered in your doctor’s office. The only pain associated with this procedure is the injection itself, which most patients liken to a “prick,” or “bug bite.” This pain is generally brief and minimal. This can be further minimized by the use of a numbing agent on the skin or a cold pack. Most patients experience relieved symptoms one or two days after treatment, and full relief can take about a week. Results of Botox injections for TMJ last four to six months.
Botox it is FDA-approved for treatment of related issues, such as cervical dystonia and migraines. Complications with the use of Botox are rare, but be sure to discuss any medications you take and your medical history with your doctor thoroughly. Many patients who try Botox for their jaw pain experience a great reduction in symptoms, and a noticeable improvement in their daily lives.