TMJ and TMD Relief with Botox

When most people hear the word ‘Botox’ – they think of the cosmetic applications. Over the past decade, Botox Cosmetics has grown immensely in popularity for its ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It started in the media under the context of celebrities using extreme methods to make themselves look younger, but now it is a readily attainable cosmetic treatment to the general population. What doesn’t come to mind readily is the use of Botox in a therapeutic sense – and certainly in the world of dentistry.

tmj tmd relief calgary dentistFirst, let us discuss what Botox actually is. This injection is a derivative of a toxin naturally produced from a very common bacteria. Most typically known for its role in the illness ‘botulism’, this specific bacteria is an organism that exists within our digestive tract all of the time. It has the potential to be quite toxic and even deadly if mismanaged, but fear not, the people with Botox Cosmetic have this down to a fine art. They isolate the toxin and dilute it to a minimal level making it completely safe to work with. It’s applications are numerous and therefore it has become a popular tool for treating a wide variety of physical issues.

In very controlled, minute doses, the toxin can be directed into tissues to prevent the signals produced by nerve cells from reaching muscles. This in turn paralyzes the nerves and therefore the connecting muscle tissue.

You may now be wondering how this is beneficial. Most typically, Botox is used in cosmetic therapies. By inhibiting the nerve endings, there is the possibility to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles.

Think about a bigger picture though – some issues are caused by the misfiring of nerves creating muscle tension in areas that result in extreme and chronic pain. These misfires can be debilitating in the conditions they create!

This includes issues with temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ). A common affliction, TMJ is characterized by pain in the jaw area. It is often associated with jaw clenching, causing the muscles to become tight, thus limiting the mobility of the jaw.

People who have issues with TMJ frequently suffer from symptoms other than jaw pain as well. Headaches, ear aches, and pain in the face and neck are all indicators of TMJ issues.
Up to 15% of adults suffer from issues with it, and most of them are women.

What causes it? In some circumstances it is triggered by stress. Teeth grinding, arthritis, or a jaw injury could all contribute to issues with TMJ. It can cause the jaw to make a clicking noise and the teeth to feel like they are not clamping down in the correct alignment.

By strategically injecting tiny amounts of Botox Cosmetic into the jaw area, the muscles have the opportunity to disengage, relieving the patient from TMJ suffering. It is a treatment that can have lasting effects, and is as simple as an injection with a fine needle that causes minimal pain!

Do you have TMJ issues that require a solution. It is possible that Botox could be a solution for you! Give us a call and we will book you in for a consultation!