Most people are aware of Botox® being used for cosmetic purposes and thus believe it to be administered only by cosmetic surgeons and others in the field of esthetics. However, Botox has been found and effectively used to relieve pain associated with TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders including chronic headaches and migraines, and because many dentists treat TMJ disorders, you can now find Botox being utilized in dental practices across America.
Anderson dentists Dr. Dale Hardy and Dr. Andrew Wilson are an authority on the orofacial (neck and head) regions and certified to provide Botox treatment. Read on to learn more about how Botox works as a pain reliever, and why selecting Cornerstone Dentistry for your Botox needs is a smooth choice!
But First – Is it Safe?
Botox has been approved by the FDA to treat a fairly wide array of conditions and symptoms outside of its most popular function as a facial rejuvenator. 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. You can also trust that if your Anderson dentists didn’t believe fully in its ability to relieve patients of pain, they wouldn’t have undergone the training needed to administer it while you’re comfortable in the dental chair. 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.
TMI on TMJ? No Such Thing!
Before we discuss how Botox can alleviate the pain associated with TMJ, we should probably elaborate on what TMJ is. Many sufferers have no idea it’s the culprit for symptoms they’ve been experiencing for months or even years—symptoms that lead them to the frequent use of anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and acetaminophen for relief, or prescription medications that come with undesirable side effects.
Some possible reasons for TMJ dysfunction include:
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth and jaw (bruxism)
- Injury to your jaw, head, or neck
- Erosion or dislocation of the disc between the ball and socket
- Chronic stress
- Malocclusion (misaligned teeth or bite)
If you experience any of the following symptoms, there’s a strong chance your TMJ could use an examination.
- Chronic facial pain and tenderness, especially of the jaw
- Frequent earaches and tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Difficulty chewing, opening and closing of the mouth, and speaking
- Popping or clicking sounds in the jaw, with or without pain
- Chronic headaches and migraines
- Worn or chipped teeth
The estimated number of people within the United States living with TMJ disorders is 10 million, with 90% of those sufferers being women in their childbearing years. We hate to be the bearers of this bad news, but at Cornerstone Dentistry, we’re happy to offer solutions.
Your Jaw on Botox
Here’s how Botox works: magic! We joke, but it has felt that way for some patients who have gone the route of Botox therapy. Why? Because the benefits can be felt almost immediately, and they’re longer lasting than the effects of analgesics and corticosteroids.
Botox injections work by giving your overused masseter muscles a much-needed nap. With these muscles given a break, clenching and grinding cease. The relaxing of your jaw will soften the muscles and allow them time to heal and repair. This has the added benefit of making your facial appearance more symmetrical and your skin more supple. Last but certainly not least, the secondary pain that travels from your jaw to your ears, through your shoulders and down your neck and back will be alleviated, which can help correct your posture for even more relief and well-being.
Scheduling a consultation with us could make a world of difference. The pain felt by TMJ sufferers can be agonizing and keep you from living your life to the fullest. Cornerstone Dentistry would love to be a part of your recovery, so contact us today to make an appointment!
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.