Botox isn’t just for cosmetic enhancements anymore. The injections, known for relaxing muscles that cause fine lines and wrinkles, are also currently being used to treat more than 20 medical conditions, too, including chronic migraine headaches, muscle spasms, excessive sweating, eye problems and overactive bladder. Healthcare providers also may suggest Botox for pain management since it blocks nerve signals that control muscle activity, often resulting in relaxation and pain relief.
People who suffer from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder — which causes pain in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement — can benefit from Botox, too.
Our cosmetic dentists near Albertville that specialize in Botox treatments share what Botox is and how it can help wipe away not just wrinkles but facial pain, too!
What is Botox?
Botox is the cosmetic, injectable form of botulinum toxin that healthcare professionals use in small doses to reduce or eliminate facial fine lines and wrinkles and ease tension and pain. While the medicine in Botox is made from the same toxin that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning called botulism, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the medical control standards of the purified botulinum toxin that healthcare providers use. As long as the injections are administered correctly by a licensed healthcare provider, the bacteria toxins in Botox are not harmful.
Botox injections temporarily — usually for 3-12 months — weaken or paralyze certain muscles or block certain nerves, resulting in smoothed fine lines and wrinkles in the face and the relief of pain and tension in the face, head and neck.
How can Botox help with dental issues?
While Botox is primarily known to help with cosmetic issues, such as frown lines, forehead creases and crow’s feet, it can also smooth lip lines, reduce gummy smiles and relax thick jaw muscles. Botox injections can provide much-needed pain relief to people who suffer from a disorder of their temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joints are the two joints connecting the lower jaw to the skull. The joints are like hinges, sliding and rotating in front of each ear. When someone suffers from a disorder of the joints, it’s called TMJ, and it often causes facial pain, chronic headaches, worn teeth, a clicking or popping in the jaw and ringing or pain deep in the ears. Bruxism — or teeth grinding/clenching — is frequently associated with TMJ, and this can cause chronic tension headaches, neck/shoulder pain and a sore face and jaws.
How does Botox help?
Botox relaxes facial muscles, so the injections can help relax and relieve tension in the jaw area for up to three months. Usually Botox is recommended as a complement to other TMJ treatments, but the injections, alone, may be enough to relieve tension and pain in the jaw area. This can help relieve morning tension headaches and jaw clenching — both common symptoms of TMJ.
Botox for TMJ also has secondary benefits that are more cosmetic in nature. TMJ overworks the jaw muscles, often leading to a wider-appearing face. Since Botox relaxes those muscles, it often helps the face appear slimmer and more youthful.
Botox for TMJ treatment can be therapeutic and, incidentally, cosmetic. Are you curious if Botox injections are right for you? We are happy to answer any questions you may have. We gladly accept patients of the Albertville, Boaz, and Guntersville areas. Contact us today at (256) 400-2783 to schedule a consultation!