Botox injections are widely known as a cosmetic procedure that can reduce wrinkles. The neurotoxic protein has also been used to provide relief in a host of health conditions, such as uncontrolled blinking, excessive sweating, chronic migraines, and even depression. In recent years, Botox has made a mark in the dental industry as a potential non-surgical procedure to help patients suffering from TMJ disorder. Ft. Worth orthodontist, Dr. Ciro Cabal, discusses how Botox injections can help relieve some of the symptoms of TMD.
What Is TMD?
The temporomandibular joints hold the lower jaw to the skull. If the joints are not properly seated, immense stress is put on the nerves and muscles that surround your jaw. This is called TMJ disorder (TMD), and it can be extremely uncomfortable, leading to headaches, toothaches, limited range of motion in the jaw, grinding of the teeth, and a host of other unpleasant symptoms. One classic treatment for TMD is an oral device molded to the specific patient’s jaw, called a splint. Stress reduction, jaw massage, and putting an end to habits like gum chewing and fingernail biting are recommended, but severe cases of TMD require physical therapy, or even surgery.
How Botox Might Help
Simply put, Botox paralyzes muscles by inactivating nerve endings. Once an injection occurs, the paralysis will relax the jaw clenching associated with TMD. After the doctor has injected Botox directly into the affected muscle, relaxation in the jaw is likely to occur within 24 hours, and can last several months. Patients generally return to normal activities immediately after receiving injections, as it is such a non-invasive procedure. Botox as a treatment for TMD is an exciting, but relatively new discovery. If you feel that it might be a good solution for alleviating your symptoms, it is important to do plenty of research and discuss options with your general physician and your dentist.
About Dr. Cabal
Dr. Ciro Cabal is a dedicated family orthodontist whose lifelong passion for providing exceptional dental care continues to this day as he serves patients of all ages from Ft. Worth, Azle, Saginaw, Springtown, Weatherford, Haslet, and the surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment at our Ft. Worth orthodontist office, call Lake Country Orthodontics today at (817) 236-7846.