If you suffer from TMJ disorder, you know that jawbone dysfunction can lead to a build-up of tension in your overstimulated facial muscles. This facial and jaw pain can be unpleasant enough on its own, but may also lead to tension headaches, neck pain, and other related symptoms. There are a number of common treatments, but none are a magic bullet, since symptoms tend to vary. However, there is now a treatment that may bring relief by relaxing the muscles at the center of the problem, with BOTOX® injections. Dr. Jack Haney provides Knoxville BOTOX to relieve your painful symptoms of TMJ disorder.
What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder is a condition that occurs when the temporomandibular joints do not function correctly. When the top and bottom parts of the jaw do not work harmoniously to open and close the mouth, it can lead to overuse of the jaw muscles, which causes tension and muscle fatigue. TMJ disorder is often caused by a misaligned bite, but can also result from facial injury, stress, arthritis, or simply the natural shape of your jaw bones.
Symptoms and Treatments for TMJ Disorder
A diagnosis of TMJ disorder may be based on reported symptoms and an analysis of the facial tissues and bone structure. Patients may experience a combination of any of the following symptoms:
- Popping or clicking sounds in the jaw
- A feeling of shifting in the jaw
- Soreness in the jaw and facial muscles
- Neck pain, tension in the neck muscles
- Reduced range of motion in the jaw
- Pain when chewing
- Teeth grinding and jaw clenching (bruxism)
Relief from the symptoms of TMJ disorder may be achieved with a number of self-care and clinical treatments, such as:
- Myofascial massage and relaxation techniques
- Physical therapy exercises
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) treatments
- Oral appliances, such as a mouth guard that is worn at night
- Corticosteroid injections
- Prescriptions, such as medications, such as muscle relaxers, anti-anxiety medications, anti-inflammatories, and analgesics
- Orthognathic surgery
Different patients may have success with different combined therapies, so having a care provider who is well versed in many techniques, such as Dr. Haney, is important to finding the treatments that work for you.
What is BOTOX?
Botulin toxin, commonly known as BOTOX, is a neurotoxic protein that is used in the treatment of muscles spasms and muscle stiffness. It is a derivative of the botulism bacterium, which has been repurposed so its paralytic qualities can benefit number of medical conditions. Because BOTOX stays where it is injected, there is little danger of systemic side effects from injecting small amounts of the toxin.
Botox injections are often used for cosmetic purposes; by paralyzing facial muscles, the appearance of wrinkles is reduced. They can also be used to deactivate sweat glands and relax overstimulated muscles. The effects of BOTOX injections can last up to five months, so this is not permanent treatment—but it can help you establish new habits that may last beyond the paralytic effects.
How BOTOX is Different
Many treatments are aimed at correcting the imbalance of the temporomandibular joint, such as orthodontics, appliances, and surgery. Other treatments seek to ease the muscle fatigue with physical therapy or relaxation techniques. If the muscles can be coaxed to relax, the radiating tension that leads to headaches and neck pain may lessen and jaw clenching will be reduced. BOTOX injections are similar to these techniques, but have the potential to be far more effective, since they can paralyze targeted muscles for extended periods of time.
With TMJ disorder the muscles of the jaw become larger and stronger due to over-usage. After being relaxed by BOTOX, these muscles will finally get the chance to relax, cease the unnecessary clenching that leads to pain, and slowly begin to shrink. By the time the effects of BOTOX wear off, the muscles will be smaller and not so prone to overuse.
Contact Dr. Haney Today!
If TMJ treatments have not successfully alleviated your painful symptoms, now is the time to try a different approach with Knoxville BOTOX injections. Not all BOTOX providers are familiar with treating TMJ disorder, but Dr. Haney can get you the results you seek. Contact our office at 865-693-6886 for an appointment with Dr. Haney today!