We prefer conservative treatments for temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) whenever possible. But what do you do when the first line of treatments fails? According to a study from 2019, the answer is BOTOX®, which is highly effective at treating TMJ. If you’re interested in BOTOX® in Spokane Valley to treat your TMJ, call (509) 927-2273 or make an appointment online.

A mold of teeth holds a syringe of BOTOX

Research Suggests TMJ Relief with BOTOX®

A group of researchers recruited 25 people out of more than 200 that applied. All 25 had muscular TMJ, and all were treated with a well-defined regimen of noninvasive treatment. This regimen included physical therapy, an occlusal splint, and medications, such as anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants.

For 16 of the patients, this care was satisfactory: their symptoms resolved within three months. However, the remaining 9 patients did not experience relief, so these patients were given BOTOX® injections (botulism toxin type A) on both sides of the face in the masseter and temporal muscles.

Researchers compared the values of jaw pain, jaw opening, and bite force from before injections and at three weeks after injection. Some of the results were odd. For some patients, bite force increased. For others it decreased. For a few it didn’t change. The story was the same for maximum jaw opening. In neither case was this considered statistically significant.

However, in terms of jaw pain, the reduction was statistically significant. Patients who received BOTOX® injections into their jaw muscle finally found pain relief.

Even better, researchers found no side effects for these patients after six months of follow-up. They specifically looked for cosmetic problems, difficulty chewing, muscle weakness, or dry mouth (in case BOTOX® deadened the salivary gland nerves).

The researchers in this study concluded that the results showed that BOTOX® injections made a great treatment for muscular TMJ. That’s because it was effective, could take effect quickly, and had very few side effects. Are you curious about using BOTOX® in Spokane Valley to treat TMJ? Ask doctors Ken and Marnie Collins if it could help you get the relief you need.

Other Benefits of Using BOTOX® in Spokane Valley to Treat TMJ Disorder

While jaw pain relief is the number one reason why your friends and neighbors in Spokane Valley turn to BOTOX® for TMJ treatment, there are other benefits too.

  1. Reduction of headaches and migraines because of minimized teeth grinding.
  2. Reduced toothaches and wear due to minimized teeth grinding.
  3. Reduces the likelihood of lockjaw while treatment is in effect.
  4. Reduced stress from less pain in your jaw, neck, shoulders, and head.
  5. Smoothes wrinkles and helps you look younger.

The Downfall of BOTOX® for TMJ Treatment

While Spokane Valley BOTOX® for TMJ treatment sounds like a great lower-cost alternative, there are some downsides to consider.

  1. BOTOX® may not be a permanent solution to TMJ disorder since the treatment itself is temporary. Some patients see the return of their disorder and need continued BOTOX® treatments.
  2. Insurance doesn’t cover BOTOX® to treat TMJ disorder. This can be a deterrent for some but not of consequence for others. If you need continued treatments, BOTOX® could become costly.
  3. BOTOX® may not treat the underlying issue causing your TMJ pain. Since BOTOX® limits the function of your muscles, you may experience relief for a time but your jaw may still be misaligned. If a misalignment is the underlying cause of your pain, BOTOX® may not be the solution for you.
  4. While the participants in the study experienced few side effects, side effects are still possible. BOTOX® can cause headaches, nausea, bruising at the injection site, and a temporary droop in your eye lid. However, when you have an experienced TMJ dentist like doctors Ken and Marnie Collins, you’ll likely experience few symptoms.
  5. BOTOX® for TMJ treatment is not FDA approved at this time. However, it shows promise for pain relief when other methods fail.

Have You Tried Other TMJ Treatments?

The study design makes it clear that BOTOX® injections are effective on a certain select group of patients. However, larger, more diverse studies would need to be done to demonstrate broader effectiveness. In the meantime, though, it makes sense to try a number of different approaches to try to treat TMJ. Anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants can help, as can physical therapy, and, of course, oral splint therapy. If those don’t work, though, BOTOX® at our Spokane Valley, WA, dental office might be the best solution.

At Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics, we offer bite splints and BOTOX® injections. If you’ve tried other treatments, we invite you to try these proven approaches to resolve your jaw discomfort.
Please call (509) 927-2273 today for an appointment with a Spokane Valley TMJ dentist.