TMJ (short for temporomandibular joint) is the common term for any problem with the joints and jaw muscles that make it possible to chew. TMJ disorders (also known as TMD) can be painful and difficult to solve.
Symptoms of TMJ/TMD may include:
- Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw or ear.
- Jaws that pop, click, or get “locked” open or shut
- Headaches, toothaches and dizziness
Although the exact causes of TMJ are difficult to determine, many cases may be related to stress, which can create overuse or incorrect use of the jaw, ie: clenching or teeth grinding. Common therapies include reducing use of the jaw, steps to prevent teeth grinding/clenching and muscle relaxants. However, TMJ is considered hard to treat because these techniques often don’t completely control pain and locking of the jaw.
Botox® for TMJ and TMD
If you’ve been diagnosed with TMJ, there’s a good chance you’ve tried all the traditional therapies and you are still searching for a conservative, non-surgical solution. A relatively new TMJ treatment is the use of Botox® injections. Botox is most commonly known as a wrinkle remover, but is now used to treat a number of muscle related problems. Botox acts to block the contraction of muscles, making it an excellent solution for stopping muscles from contracting too much.
TMJ treatment with Botox has had promising results, even though it remains classified as experimental by the FDA. Treatment is completed in a few minutes, and involves small injections of Botox into the muscles of the jaw. Within a few days to a week, patients feel the difference as the Botox relaxes the jaw muscles. For many patients, this provides relief from the jaw and headache pain caused by their TMJ. Botox treatments last about 3 months and have a long history of safety.
As a member of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics, Dr. Bhattal has undergone specialized training in the use of Botox. In addition, her dental training and practice have provided her with extensive knowledge of how to safely perform injections in the face, head, and neck.