Woman with pink headband holding hands up around mouth. Pink background.

Headaches & TMJ- Botox is the Solution!

Posted on November 10, 2022

What have you heard about Botox? Of course, you have. Most people know it as a beauty-enhancing product that gets rid of those pesky wrinkles and unpredictable fine lines. That is true! But let’s think about what Botox does- it temporarily blocks nerve cell signals from reaching your muscles and reduces abnormal muscle contractions. With this in mind, you can also understand how it can be useful for relaxing muscles around your jaw. 

Botox has a long history of medically therapeutic uses, all of which involve muscular conditions. Presently, Botox is used to treat over 20 different medical conditions, and there are more than 6 million Botox treatments administered each year. Botox has been administered in dentist offices throughout the nation for years now and some even offer Botox as the finishing touch to dental cosmetic treatments. 

At Silver Smiles, we use Botox for not only fine lines and wrinkles but for another important goal- relieving TMJ/ headache pain to help you feel your very best. 

 TMJ + Botox= RELIEF 

To really understand why Botox can be excellent jaw-relaxing therapy, let’s take a moment to talk about your TMJ, also known as the temporomandibular joint. This joint acts as a hinge for your mouth, allowing you to chew and speak. 

Unfortunately, the TMJ is also very sensitive to everyday stress— whether it’s physical, emotional or even psychological stress. When you are stressed, the muscles tense up and can cause a lot of problems for your mouth and jaw: 

  • Sore cheeks & jaw
  • Pain around your neck & ears
  • Headaches & migraines
  • Swelling in your face
  • Clicking noise in your jaw when you open or close the mouth 
  • Clenching & grinding your teeth (also known as bruxism) 
  • Ringing in your ears 
  •  Neck and/or shoulder pain 
  • Shocking type of facial pain 

This last point, bruxism, can be an issue even if you are not suffering from a TMJ disorder but there are times when they can go hand in hand. 

 Relaxing the jaw muscles

Botox for TMJ can be HIGHLY effective. A study found that Botox treatment can significantly decrease pain and increase mouth movements for 3 months following the treatment. One other study found that symptoms improved in 90% of participants and there are plenty more studies being conducted on this treatment even today. 

 Botox is typically recommended in conjunction with other TMJ therapies, like night guards or physical therapy. However, there are many cases where Botox treatment is all that is needed to get those muscles to relax. 

Once you get those muscles around your TMJunclenched, you are going to notice other changes too: 

  • The frequency and intensity of headaches will be reduced or disappear 
  • You might feel less anxious 
  • You’ll sleep better 
  • You will be protecting your teeth from the effects of bruxism
  • Sensitive teeth may become less sensitive. 

What to expect from the TMJ treatment

Have you ever received a Botox injection before? 

Many of our patients have not, so we are very accustomed to answering lots of questions & are happy to do so. Most of the questions we hear are centered around what the procedure involves, so let’s start there. 

Here’s what you can expect from Botox in TMJ treatment: 

  • We will work together to determine the number of injections you will benefit from. 
  • You will likely receive several injections throughout your facial muscles, like your forehead, temple & jaw muscles. Most of our patients report very little discomfort from these injections. A cold ice pack after treatment will usually feel good. 
  • You can return to your regular daily activities as soon as you leave the office, but avoid rubbing or massaging your face for a few hours. 
  • You will begin to feel some improvements within a day or two of treatment, but more often it takes several days before you’ll start to notice a big difference. 

That’s it. It really is quite simple and the treatment will last 3-4 months. 

 What are the risks of Botox for TMJ? 

There are a few reported side effects linked to Botox injections that we want all patients to be aware of. However, most of these possible side effects are minor, including: 

  • Redness at injection sites
  • Bruising at the injection sites 
  • Muscle weakness
  • Discomfort 
  • Nausea

We will help you understand all the potential risks of Botox & ensure you feel completely comfortable and confident in your treatment. 

Additional at-home tips for relieving your TMJ after Botox

Whether or not you decide to invest in Botox for a TMJ treatment option, we always recommend you try some at-home remedies that could help relieve stress and relax those face and jaw muscles. Here are some of our favorite methods that we would love for you to try: 

  • Try yoga, deep breathing, massages(except after a Botox treatment) or meditation. 
  • Stay aware of your posture. Slumping and slouching can cause tension. 
  • Recognize when you are clenching your teeth or jaw and work on relaxing it. 
  • Focus on keeping your teeth apart when not chewing. 
  • Avoid constant gum chewing, biting your nails, and eating too many sticky/tough foods. 

Questions you have for us? 

Dr. Meagan has been helping patients with TMJ for quite some time now. She has completed advanced training and continually educates herself and her team on the latest up-to-date therapies and techniques. 

As a team, we are completely committed to making sure we are on the same page and you feel completely confident in your care before you commit to our treatment plan. We are happy to answer any and all questions about how Botox can treat your TMJ disorder, let us know if we can help. 

If you are ready to conquer your TMJ pain or headaches, call us today at 770-972-6000 or schedule online for our next available consultation. 

We look forward to helping you feel your very best! 


Let’s
Do
This!

Your smile’s waited long enough.

No one knows smiles like the orthodontists at Silver Smiles. If you’re ready to get a smile that makes you want to smile, you’ve found the right solution at Silver Smiles Orthodontics.

If you’re in need of general dental work like cavity repair, teeth cleaning, caps, crowns or veneers, give us a call and we’ll be happy to refer you to an outstanding general dentist in your area.