Botox for TMJ, Tension and Migraines?

By Ashley P. Curington, DMD – North Atlanta Center for Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry, PC on Botox usebotox logo

Q: What is Botox®?

A: Botox® is a toxin derived from a bacterium, Clostridium botulinum. The clinical usage is based on its ability to weaken the muscles where it is injected.

Q: What are some of the conditions that Botox is used to treat?

A: Botox® has been used for 30 years for treating medical conditions. It started with ophthalmologists in treating strabismus, and then spread to urologists and finally neurologists. In 2013, the Georgia Board of Dentistry began licensing dentists to use this substance. It has become the gold standard for the treatment of chronic migraines and TMJ. It can also be used to treat facial wrinkling for improved cosmetic appearance.

Q: How effective is Botox® therapy in treating cosmetic conditions, and how long does the effect last?

A: Botox is one of the most effective treatments for certain cosmetic conditions. The key is the correct diagnosis, and recruitment of the right patients for treatment. Variations in medication and the duration of effects can be seen based on the site and dosage of injections. The beneficial effect can be seen within a few days of injections, and the effects last anywhere from 10 to 14 weeks. Treatment needs to be repeated every 12 to 16 weeks on average. As with any other treatment modalities, the beneficial effects vary in patients, and their unique medical conditions.

Q:How Does BOTOX® Treat Jaw Tension and TMJ Disorder?

A: Located on both sides of the head at the point where the jawbone meets the skull, the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) is used during talking, eating, swallowing, and other everyday activities. If this joint becomes displaced or is overworked through excessive teeth grinding, a person may suffer severe tension headaches, as well as sharp pain in the jaw. BOTOX® relieves jaw tension by making muscles unable to engage in the powerful, often unconscious movement of the jaw that produces headaches and pain.The BOTOX® alternative treatment for TMJ disorders and jaw tension is usually quick, straightforward, and effective. A non-surgical procedure, BOTOX® injections are administered in a doctor’s office and treatment requires no hospital stay. Most patients experience noticeable improvement within one or two days of their first treatment, although relief can take up to a week.

Q: Where can I get more information?

A: A good source for information is the American Academy of Facial Esthetics.