Facial/TMJ Pain

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Painful and tender facial muscles can be caused by jaw clenching or grinding of the teeth called bruxism. Another condition of facial pain can be associated with TMD or temporomandibular dysfunction.  The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is not functioning ideally. Facial/TMJ pain can be very debilitating. Have you experience any of the following?

  • Headaches?
  • Clenching?
  • Grinding?
  • TMJ Pain?

Bruxism and TMJ Disorders

Do you suffer from Bruxism (teeth grinding) or another TMJ condition?

Many patients see their dentist with complaints of jaw or facial pain. In many cases, the pain is caused by either bruxism (teeth grinding) or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, which are related conditions.

TMJ disorders (or TMD) refer to a collection of jaw problems that may be treated by a dentist. The jaw joint is a complex one, with a number of structures that facilitate vertical and lateral movements. Problems may develop in the numerous muscles, ligaments and nerves that help the joint to perform correctly.

Symptoms of TMJ disorders:

  • Jaw pain of stiffness
  • Earaches
  • Clicking or popping noises during chewing
  • Masseter muscle enlargement (square face appearance)

Botox Treatment of TMJ Pain/Tension

The Botox treatment for TMJ disorders and jaw tension helps to relax muscles that support the lower jaw, thus taking pressure off of the joint.

Botox is a safe alternative treatment for most people who experience jaw tension or have TMJ disorder.  Botox injections often provide substantial relief from the pain of muscle spasms associated with TMJ.

Botox still allows muscles to perform daily activities such as talking, chewing, and swallowing. In addition, the treatment can help safeguard dental health, since excessive grinding can result in worn teeth and damaged gums that may require costly treatment.

How long does the TMJ Botox treatment take?

The TMJ Botox treatment is a non-surgical procedure performed in our office that takes just a few minutes.
Most patients experience noticeable improvement within 1-2 days of their first treatment, although relief can take up to 2 weeks with results lasting for 3-4 months, after which muscles begin to resume their usual activity. We recommend Botox treatment every four to six months to maintain results.

Botox Bruxism (Teeth Grinding) Treatment 

Bruxism is a specific condition in which people grind or clench their teeth often while sleeping (most do so involuntarily). Grinding or clenching causes the muscle to grow stronger, resulting in headaches, earaches or facial pain, which can worsen with time, and often causes a square facial appearance due to the thickness of the masseter (clenching) muscles.

Botox treatments have been shown to alleviate Bruxism. Botox Bruxism treatment works by relaxing the jaw muscle sufficiently to reduce grinding symptoms while maintaining normal jaw and teeth action.

How long does the Botox Bruxism treatment take?

Botox treatment of teeth grinding is painless and quick (5 minutes). Results for Botox treatment of bruxism start 2-3 days after injection and last for about 4 months. While bruxism can lead to TMJ problems, the category of TMJ disorders is much broader. Issues with any component of the jaw joint may be classified as TMJ disorders (or TMD).

Symptoms of Bruxism:

  • Severely worn teeth and/or chipped teeth
  • Receded gums in the absence of gum disease
  • Chewed inner surface of the cheek and/or damage to tongue
  • Higher incidence of root canals, major dental work on the back teeth
  • Sore jaw muscles in the morning
  • Headaches, Earaches, and Toothaches
  • Problems eating and grinding noises
  • Facial pain
  • A face that looks shortened between the nose and chin

What are the effects of Bruxism?

  • Compression of the nerves and blood vessels in the back of the joint, which can cause headaches, face, jaw and neck pain
  • Displacement of the cartilage disc, indicating dislocation of the joint and resulting in clicking popping or grating noises upon opening and closing of the jaw
  • Further compromise of the airway, making obstructive sleep apnea even more possible

If you have tried to treat your TMJ disorder with mouth guard and other measures without any improvement you should ask our office about the benefits of the TMJ Botox Treatment.

Botox Treatment to Improve Facial Appearance

Besides relief from jaw pain, tension and headaches, patients see a dramatic change in facial appearance after 2-3 sessions of Botox treatments. Once the masseter muscles (used for clenching/biting) are relaxed with Botox, the square, heavy appearance of their lower face softens into a more narrow and aesthetically pleasing one.