Temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ disorder refers to a condition that affects the muscles, ligaments, and joints surrounding the jaw. The TMJ is a ball and socket hinge that uses sliding and hinging motions to function. The joint is at the back of the jaw and includes a bony bump called the articular eminence. The…
How Botox Can Help With TMJ Disorder
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) is a common disorder that involves the jawbone not functioning correctly that is difficult to treat. However, there are methods to treat it that aren’t all that invasive, such as Botox for TMJ. The truth is TMJ is a severe condition that can cause all sorts of problems, including the inability to open or close the mouth properly.
While there are some other non-invasive treatments for TMJ, many of those options only treat specific issues. The most common treatment for severe TMJ is surgery to resituate the jaw. It helps before you decide if Botox for TMJ is the right solution for you to understand the causes of TMJ and how it is commonly treated. This will help you make the right decision for your unique situation.
Causes of TMJ
Unfortunately, TMJ is one of those conditions that can vary in symptoms and severity and the root cause of the problem. To better understand how Botox can help, here are some of the common causes of TMJ.
Injury to the jaw
Impacts to the jaw can cause TMJ to develop. This includes accidental injury while playing sports, slips, and falls, or other impacts. These injuries can cause the jawbone to inflame and make it difficult to open or close the mouth. In the most severe cases, the injury may cause the jaw to be moved entirely out of place, making it difficult to chew, swallow, or open and close the mouth.
Misalignment of the teeth or jawbone
In some cases, other dental issues such as overbites can affect the potion of the jaw and cause TMJ to develop. In some cases, these issues develop because of poor oral hygiene habits such as thumb sucking. In other cases, the positioning of the teeth or jaw may be off due to genetic factors.
A dentist can usually find and address these issues before the TMJ becomes too severe and requires more invasive options.
Teeth clenching or grinding
This is one of the more common causes of TMJ outside of injury. Many folks unintentionally clench or grind their teeth which puts tremendous pressure on the jaw and may cause it to become sore and make movement more difficult. Prolonged clenching may result in severe lockjaw that has to have corrective surgery to fix. A dentist will often prescribe a night guard or bite guard to protect the teeth and lessen the impact of teeth grinding, which may alleviate symptoms.
How Botox helps
Botox for TMJ is so effective because rather than addressing one specific cause of TMJ, Botox works on relieving the pain and symptoms by addressing the jaw itself.
A Botox injection can cause certain jaw muscles to disengage, meaning they will relax, the pain will diminish, and the range of motion improves. This can alleviate mild to severe TMJ because it interacts with the muscles that control the jaw. This makes Botox an incredibly effective solution for TMJ pain.
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