You are probably familiar with Botox to treat wrinkles and fine lines, but did you know that dentists use Botox injections as well? In Midtown East, Dr. Chern and the New York General Dentistry team use Botox to treat TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder. If you suffer from frequent headaches, limited jaw movement, or jaw pain, continue reading to learn more about how Botox could help you find relief

How Does Botox for TMJ Pain Work?

TMJ or TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) pain is caused by issues with the masseter and temporalis muscles of the jaw, which can include teeth grinding, constrained muscles, or muscle spasticity. Botox can be carefully injected into these muscles to relax them, relieving pain, inhibited jaw movement, headaches, or clicking caused by TMJ. The active ingredient in Botox is botulinum toxin, which is known as a neuromodulator. This works to block nerve receptors in the muscles, temporarily reducing their movement. Typically, Botox injections are recommended in conjunction with other TMJ treatments such as massage and nightguards.

What is the Botox for TMJ Procedure Like?

When you choose Botox for TMJ in Midtown East, Dr. Chern will first carefully evaluate the jaw area and do a full muscle and TMJ evaluation to access the best treatment and areas to administer the Botox  In most cases, a series of injections throughout the facial muscles, including the jaw, temple, and forehead, are used to ensure effective results. The needles used to complete Botox injections are very small, so anesthesia is not necessary. Immediately after your injections, you may have some slight swelling, redness, or soreness, which can be alleviated with an ice pack. Otherwise, you can return to your normal routine immediately but should take care to avoid strenuous activity like exercise for about 24 hours to prevent bruising. It is also important to avoid rubbing or putting pressure on your face to prevent the Botox from migrating to unintended areas. Botox results are usually noticeable about 5-7 days after your treatment with maximum result at 30 days.How Long Does Botox for TMJ Last?

Botox is not permanent, because the muscles will regenerate nerve receptors and regain full, natural movement over time. Typically, your Botox for TMJ results will last about 4-6 months. After this time has passed, you can return to New York General Dentistry for maintenance Botox injections. Dr. Chern will make a recommendation for how frequently you should receive repeated injections for your TMJ. Typically, patients find that their results last longer as they continue to receive maintenance Botox injections.

Choosing Your TMJ Dentist in Midtown East

While Botox for TMJ is becoming more widespread, not all dentists will offer this procedure. Achieving the intended results without causing complications requires training and experience with Botox that not all dentists have. Dr. Chern has the experience necessary to understand when Botox is your best option for finding relief from TMJ. Midtown East TMJ patients can put their trust in Dr. Chern’s expertise when it comes to treating their symptoms using Botox.

Schedule a Consultation for Botox for TMJ in Midtown East

To learn more about Botox for TMJ, schedule a consultation at New York General Dentistry in Midtown East. Call our office at (212) 838-0842 or contact us online to set up your first appointment.

Botox, an injectable produced using botulinum toxin, has many uses, both cosmetic and medical, that may surprise some patients. In the past several years, dentists have also started using Botox to improve their patients’ health in addition to cosmetic dentistry purposes. Here are some of the basics of how board-certified dentists like Dr. Chern use Botox.

When did Botox Become a Dental Procedure?

While most people are more familiar with Botox’s use in cosmetic settings, the product was actually developed for medical purposes first. Dentists first began using Botox in the 2010s after noting its effectiveness in treating oral health conditions as well as improving the appearance of the oral area and smile. With advanced knowledge of facial and oral anatomy, dentists like Dr. Chern make excellent providers of Botox injections.

What Can Botox be Used to Treat at the Dentist?

Within dental practices, Botox can be used to treat a variety of conditions.

TMJ

TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) disorder causes patients to grind or clench their teeth, resulting in clicking when chewing or talking, headaches, and potential damage to the teeth. TMJ can be treated with Botox by injecting the product into the jaw muscles so patients are unable to clench their jaws subconsciously. In addition to relieving pain and discomfort, many patients also note a slimmer, narrower, or softer appearance in the jawline as a result of Botox injections for TMJ.

Bruxism

Similar to TMJ treatment, Botox can be used for bruxism, or unconsciously clenching the teeth when asleep or awake. The injection point for bruxism may differ slightly than for TMJ, but the results are more or less the same.

Headaches

Many patients may experience headaches as a result of clenching the jaw or due to chronic migraines. Botox can be strategically injected through the face, head, and neck to reduce the frequency or intensity of chronic headaches.

Gummy smile

A gummy smile, or a smile that shows a significant amount of gum tissue, can be changed with Botox injections. To correct a gummy smile, Dr. Chern will inject Botox into the lip muscles, reducing the distance that the upper lip lifts, therefore reducing the amount of gum tissue that is revealed.

How Often Are Botox Injections Needed?

Botox treatment is not permanent, as the product is naturally metabolized by the body. The longevity of Botox’s effects varies from patient-to-patient and treatment area. Typically, dental patients who receive Botox treatment will have maintenance injections every six months.

How Long is Recovery After Botox from the Dentist?

Botox injections require no downtime. After receiving Botox from your dentist, you may experience some redness and minimal soreness at the injection site, which will quickly dissipate.

 Schedule an Appointment

To learn more about dental Botox treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Chern at New York General Dentistry. Call our Midtown East Manhattan dentists office at (212) 838-0842 or request an appointment online by requesting an appointment through our online scheduling system.