Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are a group of conditions that affect the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. TMJ disorders can cause pain and stiffness in the jaw and in the muscles that control jaw movement. TMJ disorders often occur as a result of bruxism or teeth grinding and clenching.
The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ for short, is the hinge that connects your jaw bone to your skull. The joint allows you to open and close your mouth and is responsible for guiding the movement of your lower jaw when you chew and speak.
When the two joints that form the TMJ are not properly aligned, the result can be a painful condition called TMD or temporomandibular disorder. This can be caused by a variety of things, such as arthritis, teeth grinding, clenching of the jaw, and stress. In some cases, it can also result from misalignment of the upper and lower jaws.
Some patients find that they can stop their bruxism with Botox® injections, which may help decrease some of the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder. This is because Botox works as a muscle relaxant and can temporarily prevent a patient from clenching their teeth together at night. This can help limit the strain and pressure placed on the jaw joints, thus relieving stress and improving the flow of fluids.
A treatment like Botox can address the pain and discomfort caused by TMJ disorders in a number of ways. It can help relax the muscles in the jaw that tend to cause TMJ pain. In addition, it can help reduce headaches that are triggered when the muscles around the temple tighten in response to jaw pain. It can also prevent teeth grinding, which can contribute to TMJ pain. Because Botox works to relax the muscles in the jaw, it can relieve pressure on the joint itself, which can also reduce pain.
Patients who suffer from TMJ pain can experience relief from Botox treatments that last up to six months at a time. Because the treatment is non-surgical in nature, there is usually no downtime associated with this treatment. Most patients resume normal activities immediately after their appointment.
Of course, Botox cannot treat the underlying condition. It can only provide temporary relief until the symptoms improve on their own. A dentist will be able to recommend the best treatment course based on your symptoms and diagnose any underlying causes.
If you’re interested in learning more about the possible benefits of BOTOX® for treating TMJ disorders, schedule an appointment with Tanega Dental, located in South San Francisco, CA. We are equipped with the best dentists and the latest technologies. Call us at (650) 794-0203 and schedule an appointment with our family dentist.