Botox may help relieve the symptoms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction. It may relax the jaw, reduce pain, and enable the person to open their mouth fully.
TMJ disorders (TMDs) can cause jaw pain, headaches, and other symptoms. Conservative interventions are the
Botox for TMJ dysfunction can help paralyze some of the muscles involved, reducing pain and other symptoms.
A doctor will prescribe Botox off label, as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved its use for TMJ.
Although research on animals suggests that Botox injections could weaken bones, a
Read on to learn more about Botox for TMDs.
A doctor can inject Botox into various jaw muscles.
This paralyzes the muscles, helping the person relax and reducing symptoms such as tensing the jaw and grinding. As a result, a person’s TMJ-related symptoms may improve.
- jaw click
- hypermobility and hyperactivity
- limited jaw mobility
However, Botox is not a cure for TMJ issues. It is a temporary treatment that wears off over time. A person must repeat the treatment every few months to maintain the effects.
Research generally shows that Botox
For example, a
Targeting small muscles or groups of muscles may help relieve the pain of TMDs by releasing tension and reducing harmful jaw movements.
Researchers have also used Botox to manage other chronic pain conditions, such as migraine.
When treating TMJ dysfunction, a healthcare professional will inject Botox into the muscles that control the jaw. Getting Botox injections for another condition, or for cosmetic reasons, will not treat TMDs.
Some insurers may cover Botox for TMJ dysfunction, but others may not. In most cases, a person may have to try other treatments first.
However, in some cases, there is no coverage. For example, United Healthcare considers Botox unproven and medically unnecessary for TMJ dysfunction.
The cost of treatment depends on a person’s location and how many units of Botox they need. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it can cost several hundred dollars per session.
Doctors have not established a target dosage of Botox for TMJ dysfunction because the treatment is still experimental.
If a person is interested, they should contact a doctor or a dentist who offers Botox injections to discuss the ideal dosage for them. It may be best to start with a small dosage, especially if a person has known risk factors for osteoporosis.
Some possible side effects of Botox
- an infection at the injection site
facial paralysisin or around the injection site
- dry mouth
- double vision
- muscle pain
- allergic reactions
Individuals who are pregnant or nursing should not use Botox.
Botox is not a cure for TMJ dysfunction. Instead, it is a pain relief option that a person will need to redo after it wears off. The effects of the treatment typically last
The treatment works quickly, and a person should notice an improvement shortly afterward. As Botox wears off, the symptoms may return.
Several studies support the use of Botox for TMJ dysfunction, but the results have not been consistent, and the treatment carries a risk of side effects. A doctor will likely not recommend this treatment unless a person has tried other, more conservative options.
People with a diagnosis of TMJ dysfunction or possible symptoms of a TMD should consult a healthcare professional for treatment guidance.