Temporomandibular joint disorder, better known as TMJ, has a number of causes ranging from bruxism or teeth grinding and clenching, traumatic injury to the jaw and even arthritis. The condition affects the muscles and joints situated on either side of your face just in front of your ears. It is these muscles and joints that allow you to open and close your mouth. With TMJ, however, that otherwise simple movement can be mildly uncomfortable to indescribably painful. Fortunately, there is treatment. One of the more recently discovered treatments is the same one that some people use to reduce wrinkles caused by aging. Botox injections are now being used to treat TMJ. Dr. Lance Anderson at Lovell Dental in Lovell, WY, recently completed continuing education courses from the American Academy of Facial Esthetics that qualify him to safely and effectively provide Botox therapy for TMJ relief as well as for cosmetic purposes.
Aside from pain, the symptoms of TMJ include:
- A popping sound when you open or close your mouth
- The feeling of an earache in the absence of infection
- Headaches, including migraines
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Sensitive teeth
- Swelling on the side of the face
- The feeling of a locked jaw
- Changes to your bite
What is Botox?
Botox is a brand name for Botulinum toxin, which is a protein produced by a particular bacterium that causes muscle paralysis. By paralyzing specific facial muscles, Botox relaxes wrinkles, thereby reducing the visual effects of aging. For TMJ, Botox works similarly in that it relaxes the muscles that tighten and put undue pressure on the joints. Although Botox does not treat the underlying causes of TMJ, it does seem to provide relief from painful and annoying symptoms.
Currently, Botox is not an FDA-approved treatment for TMJ, so it is considered “off-label.” This simply means that more research is required for Botox to gain the FDA’s approval.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you would like to talk to Dr. Anderson about how Botox might relieve your TMJ symptoms, then call our office today. We serve patients in Lovell, WY, as well as the Big Horn County cities of Greybull, Basin, Cowley, Deaver, Frannie, Manderson, Burlington, and Byron, the Park County cities of Powell and Cody, and neighboring areas.