The prevalence of temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder (TMJD) is between 5% and 12%. Unusual for chronic pain conditions, the prevalence rates of TMJ disorders are higher among younger people. TMJ disorders are at least twice as prevalent in women as men. For people who suffer from TMJ pain (pain in the joint between the jaw and skull), 38 to 49% of cases are chronic and last for more than 5 years.  And since you need your jaw to eat, chew and talk, experiencing ongoing jaw pain can be frustrating and interfere with day to day life. 0388619001594181043.jpg

Muscle tension in your face, jaw, or neck is one of the main symptom along with clicking/popping of the jaw. If you live with jaw/facial pain and are looking for ways to relieve it, then you’ll be pleased to know that BOTOX® for pain is a viable solution. BOTOX® can be used for a number of things, not just for cosmetic purposes. Therapeutic BOTOX® for pain can be an effective way to manage jaw disorders and tension in the facial muscles. 

How does BOTOX® helps with jaw pain?

  • BOTOX® can be injected into muscular structures around the TMJ to decrease spasms and improve overall muscle flexibility that can help to restore function. 
  • Since BOTOX® temporarily gets rid of the signals between your nerves and muscles, this means it can decrease the forces exerted on the jaw joint and relive your pain. 
  • Studies have shown that BOTOX®injections not only work to relieve muscle tension but it also helps by blocking pain signals to the brain thus providing pain relief.  BOTOX® inactivates the nerve endings that cause muscles to contract, eliminating involuntary contractions in the jaw. For many patients, BOTOX® provides a minimally invasive and fast acting solution for symptoms that might otherwise require extensive treatment or even surgery. 
  • BOTOX® can be used to ease painful muscle cramping and spasms, a side effect of clenching and grinding of patients’ teeth, which are often symptoms associated with TMJ/TMD.


Is it safe to use BOTOX® for jaw pain?

Though not FDA approved for management for TMJ pain, BOTOX® is safe and effective treatment for managing complex jaw/facial pain. BOTOX® has been researched and used clinically for over 20 years, and the research has allowed for the fine-tuning of dosages and injection sites. There is always, of course, the potential for side effects including pain or swelling at the injection site, but these are usually mild and subside within a few hours. Also, the doses recommended for clinical treatment are well below doses that could cause human botulism. 

Is Botox the right treatment for my jaw pain/TMJ disorder?

BOTOX® has become a helpful component in the management of TMJ, jaw muscle pain. The important thing for you, the patient, is to understand that BOTOX® injections for TMJ are not a cure-all.  Any treatment for jaw muscle pain (and spasm or tightness) is dictated by a careful evaluation to identify why you have symptoms in the first place. 

  • Careful assessment by an experienced Orofacial pain practitioner remains the key to making treatment decisions that will result in a long-term positive outcome. Dr Virk explains the exact treatment plan and expected prognosis for each patient along with any possible side effects, alternative treatment options. He then formulates a custom and unique plan, allowing each patient to receive the best possible benefits from this treatment. 
  • Treatment with BOTOX® can be good adjunct treatment along with usual standard of care rehabilitation regimens such as TMJ splint, physical therapy etc.
  • If you simply cannot tolerate a night guard, BOTOX® injections for TMJ may provide meaningful benefit.
  • If your jaw muscles are just too big and visibly over-built, BOTOX® may be an option. One of the predictable things that Botox does is reduce muscle bulk when used over time.  

The pain felt by TMJ sufferers can be agonizing and keep you from living your life to the fullest. Since every TMJ disorder patient has different needs, it is important for Dr Virk to evaluate you to determine which unique treatment plan can maximize results for you. If you think you may have TMJ disorder, or if you just have questions, please feel  free to contact us to make an appointment! 

Note: The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions. 

We accept most major medical insurance, including Medicare and TriCare

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