man in discomfort holding his hand to his face

Can Botox Trigger Point Injections Help Treat TMJ Disorders?

If you suffer from constant headaches and jaw pain, you might have a temporomandibular joint disorder. TMJ disorders can be frustrating and painful, and even interfere with your daily life. Jaw massages and exercises aren’t always enough to relieve the symptoms, and surgery can be expensive and intimidating. However, there is an effective, non-surgical solution: Botox. Here’s how Botox trigger point injections can help you find relief from TMJ disorders. 

TMJ Disorder Symptoms and Causes

The temporomandibular joints on either side of the face connect the jawbone to the skull. They assist with basic activities like chewing and talking. Any pain, discomfort, or malfunction in these joints or the surrounding muscles is known as a TMJ disorder. This condition is characterized by chronic jaw pain that may radiate to the head, neck, and teeth. 

Symptoms of a TMJ disorder include: 

  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Pain in or around the ear
  • Aching facial pain
  • Difficulty chewing
  • A stiff or “locked” jaw
  • Pain in the back teeth

But what causes TMJ disorders in the first place? TMJ disorders are commonly caused by excessive stress on the jaw. Teeth grinding, jaw clenching, jaw injuries, arthritis, and general overuse (like constantly chewing gum) are all common culprits.

What Are Botox Trigger Point Injections?

Botox is designed to stop muscles from contracting. Made from small, safe amounts of the botulinum toxin proteins, it is primarily known for its cosmetic uses, such as reducing face wrinkles. However, Botox is also widely used in dentistry to treat TMJ disorders.

To help relieve TMJ disorder symptoms, Botox is injected into specific trigger points in the jaw muscles. These trigger points are the masseter and temporalis muscles, which are often the source of TMJ disorder pain and discomfort. Botox temporarily restricts these muscles from contracting, helping relieve pain. The results typically last up to three months. 

The Benefits of Botox Treatment for TMJ Disorders

1. Muscle Relaxation

The muscle-relaxing properties of Botox help reduce the intensity of jaw muscle contractions. Jaw muscle relaxation is instrumental in providing relief from TMJ disorder pain, allowing you to speak, eat, and sleep much more comfortably. 

2. Headache Relief

The muscle-relaxing properties of Botox can also help reduce the frequency and severity of TMJ diorder-related headaches. If you suffer from headaches due to jaw pain, Botox injections could greatly improve your quality of life. 

3. Reduced Bruxism

Whether you’re aware that you’re doing it or not, grinding and clenching your teeth (bruxism) often leads to tooth sensitivity from worn enamel. Bruxism can also flatten your teeth, or cause them to chip and crack from the pressure. Botox reduces the frequency of bruxism, protecting your teeth from its negative effects.

Botox Trigger Point Therapy in South Jordan, Utah

If you’re suffering from a TMJ disorder, the Copper Creek Dental team is here for you. We offer Botox trigger point injection therapy to help relieve the pain caused by TMJ disorders. We can also help you prevent tooth damage from bruxism with custom night guards. Give us a call at 801-280-1911 to schedule a consultation at our office in Daybreak.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/25/2023). Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash

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