Many people assume that facial Botox is used for aesthetic purposes only; however, there is increasing evidence to show that Botox in the joints and muscles around the jaw can massively improve temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD), which is a general term used to describe chronic pain caused by a disorder of the joints and muscles in the jaw area.
What is TMJD?
For some people, TMJD may be a niggling pain in the jaw area that can radiate to the neck; in extreme cases, it can include tension, headaches, difficulty speaking/eating, and even lockjaw. As we use the ball and socket joint that connects the jaw to the skull so often, it is an area that is prone to wear and tear over time, which is what causes the aforementioned symptoms and pain. In many cases, the condition is not only painful but also debilitating. Understandably, many sufferers are eager to find effective pain relief options, so let’s take a look at how Botox can help.
How can Botox help?
The nature of Botox injections mean that they essentially create a paralysis effect on whatever areas they are injected into; therefore, injecting directly into a muscle will make the area painless. In some cases, TMJD can be caused or exacerbated by things such as habitual teeth grinding, with a Botox injection into this area preventing the client from being able to do this.
Botox is most commonly used for treating the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It is important to note that because a muscle is larger and of a different texture to the skin, it can take longer for the pain relief process to work. Many clients may not notice pain reduction for up to a week or two after treatment.
Is it a treatment?
It is also important to note that whilst Botox can significantly reduce pain, it will not treat or cure the root cause of your TMJD. If there is extensive damage to your jaw muscles and joints, you should still speak to a doctor about the appropriate treatment for resolving the damage. Having said that, studies indicate that many patients monitored over a five-year period of using Botox for pain relief reported that the effects were long-lasting and noticeable. For many people, this is enough relief to avoid more invasive or surgical treatment options.
What happens during the treatment?
As with most Botox procedures, the treatment is usually quick and effective. It can take up to half an hour and you will be able to go home after your treatment. During the procedure, you will experience several injections into the muscle. Patients may feel slight discomfort but this is usually nothing more severe than a sharp sting. Your consultant will give you plenty of aftercare advice and may inform you that it is advisable to repeat the procedure every three months to get the most from your pain relief Botox treatment.