While Botox® is most famous for it's anti-aging, anti-wrinkle properties, it also has several dental uses. For patients with dental and facial pain caused by teeth grinding (bruxism) and TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) disorder, Botox® is an alternative treatment to relieve associated symptoms.
How does Botox® treatment work?
The treatment involves quick series of Botox® injections into the facial muscles afflicted by discomfort and pain. The injections weaken the muscles and relieve jaw tension and pain, without effecting eating, chewing, and talking. The treatment also often helps eliminate headaches resulting from teeth grinding and can even minimize lock jaw caused by severe stress.
The treatment usually takes up to 30 minutes, has no down time, and results are noticed within one or two days following treatment.
Are the results permanent?
No, the results are temporary, and usually last 3-6 months, depending on how quickly your body metabolizes Botox®. The more often patients receive Botox® injections (up to a point), the longer their periods of relief last.
How do I know if I am a good candidate?
To determine if you are a good candidate, your dentist will review your medical history, medications, and allergies. If you have TMJ disorder or severe bruxism and haven't found relieve for the symptoms, chances are you may be a good candidate for Botox®.
You should not use Botox® if you have an infection at the proposed injection site. If you are pregnant or lactating, Botox® treatment should be avoided.
Is it safe?
Botox® is generally safe and can dramatically improve your quality of life. However, there are some side effects to be aware of.
Side effects are infrequent and temporary, and may include:
- redness at injection site
- muscle weakness
- respiratory infection
- flu syndrome
Patients should not rub or massage the area for hours after treatment, and exercise should be avoided for some time.
Too much Botox® too frequently can cause permanent paralysis and bone atrophy. Always make sure you are working with a qualified doctor.
Will my insurance cover it?
Many insurance companies don't cover Botox® for dental purposes, but it's best to check with your insurance company to make sure.
If you are suffering from jaw tension and pain, Botox® may be a good option for you. Contact our office (925) 705-7093 or schedule an appointment online.
If you have any additional questions, please have them below in the comment section.