TMJ Disorders – Jaw Clicking Or Pain
The temporomandibular joint is the area where the jaw meets the skull on the most lateral part of the cheek and just anterior to the ear. It is normally cushioned by a soft cartilage disk. When there is an issue with the articulation of this joint or problematic cushioning, it can often cause pain, tension, the clicking of the jaw, and even incomplete closure of the mouth.
While some people live with a disorder of this kind with little to no pain, many are not so lucky – having symptoms such as pain or tenderness in the jaw, pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints, difficulty or pain when chewing, locking of the joint, or clicking or grating sounds when chewing or opening the mouth.
How Do I Know If I Have a TMJ Disorder?
If you have any or all of the symptoms listed, you may have a TMJ disorder. It’s important that you seek medical attention if you have persistent pain in your jaw, or if you can’t open or close your jaw completely, as delaying treatment or diagnosis could lead to further damage and pain. A doctor, dentist, or TMJ specialist will be able to accurately diagnose you.
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
In many cases, the cause of TMJ is not clear. However, some disorders can occur through arthritis of the temporomandibular joint, if the joint is damaged by a physical impact or whiplash, if the disk is eroded or moves out of alignment, or by stress put on the jaw, such as chronically clenching or grinding teeth which is called bruxism.
TMJ Treatment Options
Treatment options suggested for TMJ disorders usually fall into three categories, based on how severe the pain or disorder is, or which treatment options the patient is comfortable or able to undertake.
Oral medication in the form of pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers may help relieve symptoms.
Therapy or alternative therapies
Physical therapy of the jaw, oral splints, mouth guards, acupuncture, or stress reduction techniques can be beneficial in reducing symptoms.
Surgery or injections
Surgery can often be a last resort for patients, as it is both invasive and expensive. However, it can permanently rectify TMJ disorders. As a non-invasive option, injections such as Botox have proven to be highly effective in treating some symptoms of TMJ disorders.
Botox for TMJ Disorders
At Santosha Aesthetics in Beverly Hills, Panteha Partovi offers Botox injections for patients suffering from TMJ disorders with symptoms such as jaw tension, headaches, and pain from teeth grinding, and lockjaw.
As a neurotoxin protein, Botox relaxes muscles and relieves pain, and as a safe, non-invasive, and non-surgical treatment, it offers a quick treatment time with very little downtime.
Botox is generally injected into the chewing muscle or the Masseter muscle and can also be injected into the temporalis muscle in severe cases to relieve the chewing, clenching, and grinding forces that can further damage and aggravate the joint. The muscles are prevented from contracting which decreases the movement and force that leads to tension headaches and pain. The chewing ability of the masseter muscle is still retained as it does not require all the force and strength that muscle is capable of.
Botox for Facial Slimming
When treating the masseter muscle with Botox, patients also appreciate facial slimming as an aesthetic perk of their treatment. Overuse of the masseter muscle by clenching and grinding can cause the face to look boxy, but the relaxation of this muscle provides both the easing of pain and tension, as well as a slimmer, heart-shaped facial structure.
As another positive side effect, aside from pain relief, you may notice more smiling– certainly helped by the fact your pain is diminished!
Panteha is a leading aesthetic expert in Los Angeles, and a nationally-recognized aesthetic injector – skilled in helping patients minimize or eliminate the pain and tenseness associated with TMJ disorders.
After your Botox treatment, avoid rubbing or massaging the injected area, hot showers or sauna, and vigorous workouts for up to 4 hours after the treatment to avoid spreading the toxin to the neighboring muscle groups. Don’t worry- talking and laughing are permitted right after your treatment.
Following your Botox injections, there is virtually no downtime. However, some patients may experience slight jaw soreness, redness, or bruising- all of which disappear after a maximum of 1-2 days. Discomfort can be offset with ice or over the counter pain medication.
Botox for TMJ Relief Results
Since the masseter muscle is a strong and deep muscle, Botox takes 1-2 weeks to start kicking in and 3-4 weeks to reach maximum efficacy. When receiving Botox in the superficial facial muscles such as the glabella, frontalis, and orbicularis muscles, results take 3-4 days to begin appearing and 10-14 days to reach their peak.
With that being said, relief from injections in the masseter muscle tends to last longer than injections in the superficial facial muscles due to its profound and prominent structure. This allows patients up to 6 months of relief, in comparison to the superficial areas that last up to 4 months.
If you have a TMJ disorder and are considering a Botox treatment, contact Panteha to discuss your options at (310) 740-9373 or book a consultation.