Botox is an injectable medication that trained health care providers inject into specific muscles. It temporarily paralyzes the area, leading to a variety of benefits. While Botox is well-known for its cosmetic effects -- namely reducing mild to moderate crow’s feet and frown lines for up to four months -- it’s also used to treat health conditions, including a number of dental concerns.
Your dentist may recommend Botox injections if you’re struggling with:
While Botox won’t likely be the first plan of action for these issues, it may help when more conventional treatments fail to help.
Your temporomandibular joint plays an important role in daily activities, such as eating, talking, and swallowing. If it’s overworked or becomes displaced through a lot of teeth grinding, you can experience intense headaches and jaw pain. Botox can help by keeping jaw muscles from engaging in the movements, such as grinding, from happening as often or intensely.
Botox uses tiny needles, so many people experience only minimal discomfort. Each injection may feel like a tiny pinch or bug bite. For added comfort, your dentist may apply an ice pack or topical numbing cream to the area beforehand.
The actual Botox treatments are quick, usually taking 10-30 minutes. From there, most patients notice relief from symptoms such as TMJ pain within a day or two, although it may take up to a week for relief to set in.
Like all medications, Botox may cause side effects. Luckily, most are mild and temporary. The most common possibilities include headaches, nausea, flu-like symptoms, or bruising or pain around the injection sites. Botox injections around the mouth for TMJ are more likely to cause side effects, such as difficulty eating or talking, and drooling. Avoid Botox while pregnant or nursing, because whether it affects the infant isn’t known.
The number of Botox injections needed varies, depending on the severity and specifics of your symptoms. Because it’s possible that you could develop antibodies that render the medication ineffective for TMJ pain, your dentist starts with the minimal amount needed.
At Carrollton Family Dental, we have partnered with three medical financial groups, each of which can help with certain payment amounts and credit situations.
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