e Bruxism and TMJ-related Discomfort with Therapeutic Botulinum Toxin Injections

Botox Treatment Manakin

Beyond its cosmetic applications, Botox boasts numerous therapeutic benefits. Goochland Dentistry in Manakin-Sabot, Virginia, offers Botulinum Toxin Injections to treat bruxism, headaches, and TMJ disorders. If your TMJ-related headaches and jaw soreness persist despite conventional treatments, schedule an appointment with our office for a happier, healthier you.

What is Botox?

Botox is a neuromodulator derived from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Yes, you heard correctly – toxin! However, when Botox is administered in small doses by trained personnel, it has countless medical benefits. For instance, Dr. Rachele Gillespie can use Botox to treat bruxism and TMJ disorders. 

What is TMJ disorder (TMD)? What about bruxism?

The temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are a pair of joints positioned on each side of the face. These hinge-like joints allow the jaw to move sideways, up and down when eating, yawning, talking, etc. The TMJs support nearly every mouth movement, often operating unnoticed when functioning properly. However, when these joints are strained or injured, you may encounter numerous unpleasant symptoms like headaches, jaw soreness, locked jaws, etc. 

Bruxism is the involuntary grinding and clenching of teeth when sleeping, although it can happen during the day. While you may not think too much about teeth grinding, this poor oral habit often starts a destructive process in your mouth and beyond. As you grind your teeth, the forces exerted can cause damage to your teeth and dental work, headaches, jaw soreness, and other symptoms. 

How does Botox work for bruxism and TMJ disorder?

We treat bruxism by injecting Botox into the masseter and temporalis muscles—the primary muscles responsible for chewing and jaw movement. Once injected, Botox blocks the release of acetylcholine–a neurotransmitter that signals muscle contractions. This effectively relaxes the muscles, reducing their ability to engage in involuntary grinding or clenching.

Botox reduces TMJ-related symptoms by relaxing the jaw muscles and joints. Botox targets the overactive masseter and temporalis muscles, significantly reducing jaw tension and headaches for TMD patients. 

Precision Botox injections allow us to specifically target the appropriate muscle and not other locations in the body. Furthermore, Botox doesn’t completely stop jaw movement but reduces the strength of overactive muscles, relieving TMJ-related discomforts and training the muscles to work in a healthier way. 

What should I expect from Botox treatment?

Botox treatment in the office takes anywhere between 10-30 minutes, depending on the number of injections needed. In addition to being quick, Botox injections are generally comfortable.

After treatment, you may experience mild bruising, tenderness, and redness in the injection sites, but this is temporary. Because Botox is non-invasive, many patients usually resume their everyday activities after treatment. 

How long do Botox injections last?

Therapeutic Botox effects begin to kick in after two to three days, but you’ll experience the full effects after about two weeks. Patients treated with Botox report minimized headaches, teeth grinding, and jaw aches. Unfortunately, Botox doesn’t last forever. Since the body metabolizes the Botox product, you’ll need retreatment every three to four months.

What should a patient do before and after Botox treatment?

Botox treatment is generally associated with minimal risks. However, it’s essential to follow the pre and post-treatment instructions provided below to minimize potential complications.

Pre-treatment instructions:

  • Educate yourself about the procedure, its potential risks, benefits, and possible side effects. Knowing what to expect can help alleviate any anxiety.
  • Ensure you are in good health and have no active infection at the treatment site. Additionally, remove all makeup and skincare products from the treatment area before your appointment.
  • Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks for at least 24 hours before the treatment to reduce the risk of bruising.
  • Stay hydrated before the procedure to keep your skin supple and plump, making it easier to inject the Botox product.
  •  Avoid blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and certain herbal supplements, for at least two weeks to minimize the risk of bruising.
  • Communicate freely with us. Be open about your medical history, including any allergies or previous adverse reactions to Botox or similar treatments.

Post-treatment instructions:

  • Avoid heat exposure for about four hours after treatment. Avoid saunas, hot tubs, and intense sunlight, as heat can increase swelling and bruising. Furthermore, increased temperatures and sweating can make the neurotoxin ineffective.
  • Avoid touching, rubbing, or massaging the treated area for at least 24 hours to prevent the spread of the Botox product to unintended areas.
  • Refrain from wearing hats, headbands, visors, or anything in the head that can move the neurotoxin to other areas four hours after treatment.
  • Wait at least four hours, then wash your face as usual to avoid infections.
  • Be patient. While everyone is different, it can take up to two weeks for Botox’s optimal effects to occur. After two weeks, you’ll see and experience the full effects of Botox. 
  • Ensure you attend any scheduled follow-up appointments two weeks after your initial treatment to monitor your results and discuss any concerns. You’ll also require retreatment every three to four months to maintain your results

Am I a good candidate for Botox treatment?

Are you battling bruxism, headaches, or TMJ discomfort in Manakin-Sabot, VA? Discover if Botox is the solution for you by scheduling an appointment with Goochland Dentistry—call (804) 206 9455 today!