How Does BOTOX Help TMJ?
If you’re unfamiliar with BOTOX, it’s a neurotoxin protein that uses botulinum toxin Type A which is a temporary muscle paralysis. It’s traditionally injected into the face to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It was FDA approved in 1989 for the treatment of blepharospasm and other eye muscle issues and then in 2002 it was FDA approved for severe frown lines and then FDA approved for crow’s feet in 2013. BOTOX is currently not FDA approved for the treatment of TMJ disorders. However, that hasn’t stopped medical professionals from using it.
BOTOX for TMJ is injected into the jaw muscles, forehead, and temple depending on your symptoms. The injections will cause the jaw muscles to have a limited function which can bring pain relief and decrease TMJ symptoms. After a few months, the results will wear off and require more injections for continuous relief. Since BOTOX is not FDA approved for TMJ treatment, insurance likely won’t cover it.
How BOTOX Interferes with Proper TMJ Diagnosis
You might think that BOTOX is the perfect solution for your TMJ symptoms but it’s not as great as it sounds. After a few months, your symptoms will return and you will need to get more injections to maintain symptom relief. Without insurance coverage, this can become quite costly down the line.
One of the biggest problems with BOTOX injections for TMJ is that it can interfere with the diagnosis process. While some dentists just listen for clicks and pops in your jaw to diagnose TMJ, Dr. Firouzian takes a comprehensive diagnostic approach to find out as many details of your disorder as possible. In our comprehensive diagnosis process, we utilize a scientific, high-tech approach known as neuromuscular dentistry. Neuromuscular dentistry provides us with verifiable, objective data that will guide successful treatment.
One of the first steps to accurately diagnosing your TMJ is using the K7 system. The K7 system allows us to collect comprehensive data about your jaw’s function. It uses amplified sound analysis, precise jaw tracking, and muscle tension measurements to help us understand the nature of your TMJ disorder. We also use Kinetisense motion tracking to see TMJ’s impact on your body beyond the jaw. We also take X-rays, scans, digital images, and have patients complete questionnaires. With this comprehensive suite of data and diagnostic tools, we can get the full picture of TMJ to determine the best treatment option.
Unfortunately, if a patient has had a BOTOX injection, it can skew our diagnosis. If the BOTOX isn’t completely worn off, it will prevent us from understanding your specific case. This is because BOTOX prevents your muscles from responding correctly. Only until the BOTOX injection has completely worn off can we accurately diagnose your TMJ disorder.
BOTOX is Not a Long-Term Solution
When you opt for BOTOX to treat your TMJ disorder, you’re just putting a band-aid on your condition. You’re not actually treating the underlying problem. When you opt for BOTOX, it doesn’t address your bite problems or imbalances in your mouth structure. It merely relieves pain temporarily before you need additional treatment.
When you visit Firouzian Dentistry for TMJ treatment in Columbus, OH, we create a customized treatment after your comprehensive diagnosis. Your treatment may involve some muscle massage using TENS (transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation) which can bring immediate relief. This step might also be a necessary aspect of your treatment plan to help us accurately diagnose what’s wrong with your bite.
Then, in many cases, we will need to correct your bite. This may begin with temporary treatments such as wearing an orthotic or splint at night, or with permanent solutions by adjusting the bite with dental restorations or orthodontics.
Regardless of which treatment option we provide you, we’re always striving to give you a long-term solution. Opting for a long-term solution can help prevent you from experiencing additional oral health problems down the line as well as unnecessary pain and money spent on treatments that don’t work.
Skip BOTOX and Get TMJ Treatment
If you’re tired of waking up with a sore jaw or fighting off daily headaches, you should skip the temporary relief from BOTOX and opt for proven long-term TMJ treatment from Firouzian Dentistry. Contact our Columbus dental office today to book an appointment by calling (614) 848-5001.