Botox has been widely known as a treatment that can take years off of your face and put a temporary halt to any signs of aging. Used to treat wrinkles and facial creases, Botox is one of the most popular procedures used by celebrities and even those individuals who just want to look a little more youthful. In 2019 alone, plasticsurgery.org reported that over 7 million Botox procedures were carried out. But one of the most common misconceptions when it comes to Botox is that it is only used for cosmetic purposes. Does Botox have amazing cosmetic benefits? Absolutely. However, there’s a lot more to Botox than merely smoothing out facial wrinkles.
According to healthline.com, Botox can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including crossed eyes, drooling, excessive sweating, and even chronic migraines. Because Botox is a neurotoxin that blocks certain nerve signals, it temporarily relaxes certain muscles and glands depending on where it is inserted. In the case of drooling for example, Botox is inserted into the salivary glands, in turn reducing the activity of the glands and decreasing the individual’s amount of drooling.
Botox for TMJ disorders
Botox is also great for people that suffer from TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorders. TMJ pain is one of the most common causes of facial pain, with an estimated 10 million Americans affected by the disorder. These disorders occur as a result of issues associated with the temporomandibular joint, or the joints that attach your jaw to the bottom of your skull. Botox is inserted into the forehead, temple, and jaw muscles which causes partial muscle paralysis, easing any discomfort associated with TMJ pain.
Is Botox safe?
Ultimately, Botox is considered very safe by the medical community. Botox is a noninvasive procedure, which is defined as a conservative treatment that does not require incision into the body. There is no sedation needed to inject Botox as it is very similar to receiving a standard vaccine, such as a flu shot. Of course, your dentist numbs the skin with a numbing agent and usually, you’ll only feel a slight pinch!
When it comes to using Botox for TMJ pain, the verdict remains the same as any other injection. “It’s a quick sting, and then it’s over,” says Dixie Boutte, patient of Dr. Maestri. “It got a little spicy when she got into my hairline, but nothing to whine about. Ice packs are offered to minimize any redness or swelling, but not even necessary.”
How long does Botox last?
The effects of Botox will gradually start to wear off once administered, but injections can usually last for up to 4 months. As noted, Botox is only a temporary fix for TMJ pain and although it is safe for Botox to be used several times per year, your provider may recommend another course of treatment in reducing TMJ pain as it progresses.
I have TMD… How do I know if Botox is right for me?
If you suffer from TMD (Temporomandibular disorders), then it wouldn’t be a bad idea to look into Botox to treat the problem. In addition to generic jaw discomfort and soreness, those who suffer from TMJ disorders usually have associated headaches, earaches, dizziness, and grinding of the teeth (which can lead to even more problems.) It’s best to find a solution to these problems early on and since Botox is noninvasive, it may be the best way to treat these issues (especially if you haven’t had success in treating TMJ pain through methods such as pain relievers or therapy.)
It is of the utmost importance to find a doctor or dentist that you trust, with a lot of experience, and one that makes you feel comfortable with your decision during the consultation. Asking your provider how long they’ve been administering Botox for TMJ pain and conducting your own research can help put a lot of your worries at ease. If you have any questions about the procedure itself, then do not hesitate to ask your provider.
Although the media tends to portray Botox as an alternative to finding the fountain of youth, there are so many other uses for the injections. Dr. Maestri is well equipped to diagnose TMD and has had substantial success in using Botox for TMJ pain. If you have any questions, or if you’re ready to take the next step in relieving your TMJ discomfort, contact us today so that our team can assist you to the best of our ability.