Botox has been a household name since its release in the early 2000’s. Though it is most commonly recognized as a wrinkle treatment and preventative, did you know it can also relieve tension headaches caused by TMJ? TMJ refers to disorders caused by the tempero-mandibular joint, or in simpler terms, our jaw. I have long suffered from TMJ, but only realized two years ago that my headaches and ear pain were a result of unconsciously clenching and grinding my jaw. Getting regular TMJ treatments has seriously changed my life (and I’m horribly afraid of needles, so I never thought I would voluntarily be getting injected). These are stressful times we’re living in and I’ve been thinking about all of the people like me who are probably clenching and grinding nonstop. If this sounds like you, keep reading for a breakdown of how a Botox treatment can relieve some of this tension.
We use the tempero-mandibular joint all day, every day, for talking, eating, and swallowing, not to mention the clenching and grinding some of us do in our sleep. If this joint becomes displaced or overworked through excessive teeth grinding, a person can suffer from intense tension headaches and jaw pain and can also cause muscle-bulking along the jaw and temples. Botox relieves jaw tension by preventing your muscles from being able to engage in the movement of the jaw that causes you pain. You’ll still be able to talk, chew, and swallow regularly, but it will prevent the unconscious teeth grinding and clenching we do while either awake or asleep.
So for those of you wondering, I’ll walk you through what my TMJ treatments with Valerie and Angie are like. They typically have me clench my jaw and they place their fingers on both sides of my head to feel where my muscles are bulking so that they know exactly where to treat. Then they put a medical grade numbing creme where they plan on injecting while they draw up the actual Botox product. Again, they have me clench my jaw while they inject Botox into my masseter muscles. It’s usually only three pricks per side. And just like that, it’s over! If I had known how easy the treatment was, I would have started so much earlier.
While Ashtoria is closed for the time being, Angie and Valerie are accepting virtual consult appointments, so if you’re interested in trying a Botox treatment for TMJ pain or have other questions about this non-surgical procedure, feel free to call our office to set something up!