BOTOX®: Not Just to Rejuvenate Your Face!

BOTOX serum

BOTOX®: Not Just to Rejuvenate Your Face!

You’ve probably heard of Botox® Cosmetic and how it can smooth lines and wrinkles to give you a fresher, more youthful look. But did you know doctors and dentists often use Botox to treat various dental and oral health issues? In recent years, Botox has been increasingly used to treat some forms of dental pain, TMJ disorders, and to help patients adjust to wearing new dental appliances.

Botox for TMJ Disorder

Therapeutic Botox® injections relax and reduce the activity of specific facial muscles. The muscles which help us chew and smile are some of the strongest in our body. When these muscles are overactive this can lead to pain in the TMJ and surrounding tissues. Patients with symptoms such as morning headaches, jaw pain, and tension due to temporomandibular disorder can benefit from Botox injected into targeted muscles around the joint.

As the muscles relax and pressure in the joint diminishes, headaches (especially morning headaches) and jaw pain are greatly reduced or eliminated. For severe cases of TMD, therapeutic Botox® injections may be combined with physical therapy or an oral appliance designed for your specific diagnosis.

Botox for Tension Headaches and Jaw Pain

Some patients suffer from daily tension headaches without any signs of TMJ problems. Individuals experiencing daily tension headaches have clusters of muscles that repeatedly clench, eventually becoming chronically contracted, leading to daily headaches. We can inject Botox® into specific muscles around the forehead, temples, and the lower back of the skull to relax them and prevent clenching for up to four months. This treatment has been shown to be clinically safe and effective in reducing headaches and myofascial related pain.

Chronic jaw or neck pain is also often caused by constant tension leading to clenched muscles along the jawline or in the back of the neck and top of the shoulders.

Botox® for Teeth Grinding

Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding. Many people are unaware they grind their teeth at night but wake up to headaches and an aching jaw. Botox injections serve two purposes for these patients. First, pain and any inflammation are relieved within the first few days after treatment. Secondly and more importantly, the injections temporarily paralyze the muscles and prevent continued grinding. The muscles which control opening and closing of the jaw, specifically the masseter is targeted and treated with Botox to reduce the strength of contraction. Once the muscles relax and begin firing with less strength, teeth grinding (bruxism) will also be minimized leading to less broken teeth and pain.

Botox® Side Effects

Botox injections can alleviate face, jaw, and headache pain when injected into specific facial and skull muscles. For patients, the relief often lasts up to four months. Repeated treatments are usually needed, but the effects last a bit longer with each additional round.

There are some minor side effects patients may experience with Botox injections, including:

  • Minor swelling at the injection sites lasting a few hours
  • Mild bruising for 1-3 days
  • A pinching sensation during injections
  • You may feel a bit of tenderness that fades within 1-2 hours

You do not have to put up with a chronic headache or jaw pain from TMJ Disorder, tension headaches, or jaw tension. To find out whether therapeutic Botox® injections can help, contact our office at Lombard IL Cosmetic Dentistry Office Phone Number 630-627-1495. Dr. Forcioli and his team are ready to help you feel and look your best!