Within the past seven years, BOTOX® has proven to be an effective and conservative treatment for addressing migraines and jaw pain often associated with TMJ disorder and bruxism. While this treatment has been used since 2002 for reducing fine lines and wrinkles, dental professionals are now offering this minimally invasive treatment to manage pain and enhance cosmetic dentistry procedures. Trained in head and neck anatomy and administering injections, Dr. Jack Haney is certified in providing BOTOX injections for his patients. To learn more about this innovative treatment approach, please continue reading. You can also schedule your consultation at our Knoxville, TN dental office by requesting an appointment online or calling 865-693-6886.
What Is BOTOX and How Does It Work?
BOTOX, a highly purified protein, is derived from Clostridium botulinum bacterium. The FDA first approved it in 2002 to address signs of aging. But after patients began noticing a reduction in chronic headaches, additional research was done on using BOTOX for other pain reduction treatments. In 2010, the FDA approved the use of BOTOX for pain management, including jaw tension, facial pain, and migraines. When injected into the underlying muscles at the origin of pain, it prevents the release of acetylcholine, a chemical in the body responsible for muscle contractions. By blocking the communication between the nerves and muscles, the intensity of the contracting or tense muscle is reduced or eliminated all together. Essentially, BOTOX® paralyzes the muscle contractions for 12 weeks before fresh acetylcholine receptors redevelop.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a term used to describe inflammation and irritation in the hinge joints located on either side of the skull in front of your ears. These joints are what give you the ability to open and close your mouth so you can perform basic daily tasks effectively. The TMJs can become inflamed for any number of reasons, including stress, bite disorders, arthritis, teeth grinding, or jaw injury. Symptoms can include:
- Muscle spasms and tension
- Jaw pain
- Facial pain and swelling
- Trouble eating, talking, or yawning
- Popping sound when moving the jaw
While orthodontics, customized oral appliances, and oral surgery are all treatments used to correct the jaw – BOTOX can be used in combination or used alone to reduce muscle spasms and ease jaw tension.
Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding and jaw clenching, is often a side effect or precursor of TMJ disorder. It typically occurs unknowingly during the night while sleeping. However, it can also happen during the day when stressful moments arise. Patients who continually clench their jaw or grind their teeth often experience:
- Cracked or broken molars
- Damaged dental fillings
- Chronic jaw pain
- Tight and tender jaw and facial muscles
- Facial swelling
When molars are weakened or damaged, Dr. Haney can place customized dental crowns over teeth to protect them from further damage. He may recommend an oral appliance be worn at night to protect your teeth from grinding. Dr. Haney can also inject BOTOX to reduce migraines and other painful side effects as they relate to your surrounding jaw muscles so you can enjoy improved dental function.
Whether you want to enhance your smile makeover, or are experiencing ongoing jaw pain – we invite you to contact our office to learn how BOTOX can benefit you. You can reach our office online or by calling 865-693-6886.