10 - 30 mins
1-2 days modified routine
Botox For TMJ Bellevue & Kirkland
Temporomandibular joint disorders affect millions of people in the United States. While mild cases of TMJ—as it is often called—often do not require major treatment, more severe cases can make it difficult to eat and live daily life. The spectrum of treatment often matches the condition itself. Thus, for patients who have not responded well to conservative treatments, the next step may be injectable treatments or similarly minimally invasive options. Northwest Face & Body provides the best Botox for TMJ Bellevue and Kirkland offers.
Understanding Botox Injections
Botulinum toxin—more commonly known as Botox—is a neurotoxin protein derived from the naturally occurring Botulinum toxin. When injected into the facial muscles, it temporarily relaxes them and limits their movements. It is used widely in the cosmetic and medical fields to address a variety of conditions including wrinkles, sweating, muscle spasm disorders, and migraines.
The injections themselves are most commonly used in cosmetic applications such as preventing wrinkles by ceasing the formation of dynamic, movement-based wrinkles. Though, the injectors at Northwest Face & Body do perform Botox injections for some medical conditions including TMJ disorders.
How It Helps TMJ
Dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint can have several different causes. Often, it is not possible to identify the exact cause for a particular patient. However, most TMJ sufferers will find relief when jaw movement is limited. Initial recommendations include eating a soft diet and stopping habits like gum chewing. Even with these changes, not all patients will find relief, and some people may not be able to make these changes realistically.
Botox helps reduce the movement of your jaw, but should not limit your ability to eat and speak normally. This is especially helpful if you experience bruxism, or teeth grinding. Often, this is done involuntarily at night, and so, Botox can reduce or even eliminate the grinding which can worsen TMJ pain.
Otherwise, it helps limit the movement of the joint which can help with the pain and locking associated with TMJ disorders. Botox will not necessarily eliminate all symptoms, but it may make flare-ups less frequent and provide a significant reduction in symptoms.
Benefits & Risks
Like with medically-based treatments, Botox injections for TMJ come with both risks and benefits to consider. For many with severe TMJ symptoms, the benefits largely outweigh the risks. However, you should discuss your medical history and the risks with your injector. Starting with the benefits of the procedure, they may include:
- Prevent jaw stiffness and locking
- Reduce the frequency and severity of severe symptoms
- Treat teeth grinding
- Help relieve pain from headaches and migraines
- Reduce TMJ-associated pain
- May create a slimming effect with masseter Botox
- Allows for normal jaw movements needed for everyday life
- Safe and effective
- Widely used to treat TMJ
- Non-surgical and minimally invasive
- Virtually painless
- Repeated treatment may help reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms over time
- In-office procedure
- Little to no downtime
- Performed by an experienced and knowledgeable injector
The risks of Botox for TMJ are minimal overall but may pose larger risks to certain groups of patients than others. The risks of TMJ Botox may include:
- Lopsided smile
- Prolonged or severe side effects
- Does not adequately treat the condition
- Muscle atrophy (may actually benefit TMJ symptoms)
- Bone atrophy (more common with frequent use and takes years to develop)
Most of the associated risks are either rare, treatable, or preventable. An experienced injector knows where to inject so you do not get a lopsided smile. Otherwise, side effects and infections are easily treated. The other possible complications are much rarer.
Botox vs. Dysport For TMJ
Botox and Dysport are both forms of Botulinum toxin A used to treat cosmetic and medical conditions. While they are derived from the same place, they feature slightly different formulations and patients may react slightly differently to each product. Our injectors are familiar with and use both Botox and Dysport for TMJ treatment. The table below describes some of the differences between the products and how they may present varying results when relieving TMJ symptoms.
- FDA approved in 1989, then in 2002 for cosmetic uses
- Spreads less
- Better for smaller areas and muscles
- First notice results in five to seven days with final results in two weeks
- May last longer in some cases
- Often recommended for deeper wrinkles or treatments
- FDA approved in 2009
- More diluted
- Spreads faster and further
- Better for bigger areas
- First notice results in two to three days with final results in two weeks
- Kicks in faster in some cases
- Due to better spreading, it may be more likely to cause a lopsided smile
The actual treatments themselves will seem nearly identical. Your injector uses a tiny needle to inject the neurotoxin into the muscles that contribute most to TMJ—the masseter and temporal muscles. They also come with similar aftercare and recovery instructions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Botox Safe For Treating TMJ?
Yes, Botox is considered safe for off-label injection into the jaw to treat TMJ disorders. While it will not be the right treatment for everyone, it is largely considered low risk for treating moderate to severe TMJ pain and disorders. When compared to other more aggressive treatments such as surgery, Botox is the lowest risk and is more likely to be effective. Of course, it is not a permanent solution, but is a good first step when exploring more treatments for TMJ.
What Side Effects Should I Expect?
Side effects may occur after jaw Botox injections to treat TMJ. Many of the side effects are typical of any Botox injection, while others are related to the treatment itself. Some of the possible side effects include:
- Jaw soreness
- Muscle weakness
- Flu-like symptoms
Most side effects should subside within a week or two, if not sooner. It is normal to have a bit of localized swelling and redness immediately after the injections which should go away within an hour or so. Severe side effects can occur. If they do, patients can use ice to address swelling and discomfort.
When Does TMJ Botox Start Working?
Botox begins working immediately upon injection. However, to adequately treat the muscles, it must settle and spread within them. This can take up to two weeks, though many patients see the effects of Botox in one week. Some patients report symptoms alleviating within a few hours, but this is likely because the side effects are often less painful than the TMJ.
How Many Units Of Botox To Treat TMJ?
The number of Botox units will depend on the specific muscles your injector needs to treat. This can vary between patients. Some may only experience TMJ symptoms on one side of the face. Some may also experience more pain in one area than another. TMJ is also often comorbid with chronic migraines which can also be treated with Botox injections.
On average, somewhere between 70 and 170 units of Botox to treat TMJ. Your injector can discuss how much Botox may be necessary to treat your TMJ symptoms. More or fewer units can still make an impact on certain patients.
Are There Other Treatment Options For TMJ?
Yes, since the causes of TMJ are not well known, there are several different treatments meant to treat both the pain and potential causes. Botox is usually not the first recommended treatment because TMJ is not chronic for everyone and some may experience only minor symptoms.
Alternative treatments for TMJ include:
- Stress reduction techniques
- Soft food diet
- Muscle relaxers
- Pain medication
- Physical therapy
- Cease repetitive jaw movements like chewing gum
- Anti-inflammatory medications
It is extremely uncommon for a TMJ patient to undergo surgery. Only in cases of jaw injury or prolonged, major pain is surgery considered. Botox is usually the first treatment following the trialing of home remedies or conservative treatments.
How Much Is Botox For TMJ?
Botox treatment starts at $219 for 20 units and $299 for 30 units. The exact cost will depend on the number of units you need and the number of treatment areas. We do work with Brilliant Distinctions and Allē rewards. Additionally, there are outside financing options available through Care Credit and United Medical Credit. Unfortunately, insurance usually does not cover Botox for TMJ. Visit our price list and Price Simulator for more pricing information.
The Best TMJ Botox Injections In Bellevue At Northwest Face & Body
Northwest Face & Body is a premier plastic surgery practice serving the Bellevue and Kirkland areas. Our qualified injectors treat hundreds of patients every month and specialize in neuromodulator injections and treatments. With the knowledge and experience necessary to inject Botox for medical applications, Northwest Face & Body offers the best Botox for TMJ Bellevue and Kirkland provides.
The injectors at Northwest Face & Body come from a diverse set of backgrounds. From Registered Nurses to plastic surgeons, our injectors underwent rigorous training to become cosmetic injectors. Our injectors also include aesthetic medicine physicians who are doctors that use their medical knowledge to offer high quality Botox and dermal filler injections.