Now Providing BOTOX Therapy for TMJ at Brookline Dental Specialists
More than ten million Americans experience discomfort along their jawline, accompanied by tension, headache, and inability to comfortably open and close their mouths. They experience common symptoms including clicking, popping, or grinding sounds when they chew, yawn, or even when they speak. These symptoms may be an indication of a condition commonly known as “TMJ.”
TMJ actually stands for the “temporomandibular joint”. This joint is the point where the mandible (or jawbone) connects to the skull, at the temporal bone. A more accurate term for the discomfort of the TMJ would actually be “TMD”, or temporomandibular disorder, but most people just use the term TMJ to describe their symptoms. The disorder is not always limited to just the joint. It can be found anywhere in the neck, jaw, and all the way up to the ears. Because there are two TMJ’s in the face, one on either side of the jaw, it is possible to develop symptoms in just one, or both sides. TMJ can be triggered by a variety of factors, such as a trauma injury, clenching or grinding your teeth, disease, and even arthritis which can be a natural part of the aging process.
TMJ is not a life-threatening issue, but it can certainly affect a person’s quality of life. In some cases, patients struggle with chewing and eating due to a jaw misaligned by the tension. TMJ is a condition that should receive professional medical treatment to prevent further complications. Even though your teeth are not affected by TMJ, unless of course you’re grinding and that’s how you got it, you know that your dentist may be the best one to treat it.
Dr. Fattahi can use Botox injections in the temporomandibular joint to effectively treat TMJ symptoms for some patients. When the tissues surrounding the TMJ are injected with Botox, the seized and tense muscles causing your discomfort can become relaxed and offer relief.
Receiving a Botox treatment is simple, relatively painless, and requires no downtime. Sometimes a topical anesthetic is used around the injection site–however, Botox needles are so small that many patients don’t need any kind of anesthetic. Dr. Fattahi will plan Botox injections sites that may include your forehead, jaw, and temples, and any other areas that could be cause for concern based on your case. After the procedure, you can continue about your day with no side effects. It is recommended to not lie down for several hours after treatment, or to rub the injection site; both of these things could lead to the Botox dispersing and spreading away from the desired location.
After treatment, it takes a couple of days to feel noticeable changes in your symptoms. Most patients notice improvement after about five days, or at least within a week. If you’re experiencing symptoms of TMJ, ask your hygienist or dentist about treatment options right away. With specialized training in the maxillofacial area, your dentist may be the number one best choice for seeking medical botox treatments to relieve TMJ symptoms. Give us a call to learn more!