Fairfield Moms: What is TMJ & How Botox Can Help
Did you know that everyone has TMJ, but not everyone has TMJ disorder? TMJ stands for
temporomandibular joints; these are the joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull. When
these joints are functioning as they should, you probably don’t give them a second thought, but
when they’re not working properly, it can be hard to think about anything else. TMJ pain can
impact your overall quality of life, making it hard to eat, sleep, and go about your daily activities.
Here’s what you need to know about TMJ disorder, its causes, and how Botox can bring relief.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
Patients with TMJ disorder (or TMD) have dysfunction in the temporomandibular joints and their
surrounding muscles. You have one TMJ on each side of your head, and when you open and
close your mouth, they operate as sliding hinges.
Although the TMJ are small joints when compared to others in your body, their location means
they have the potential to produce a great deal of pain. The tissues surrounding the TMJ have a
number of nerves running through them, which means even minor pressure on or around the
joints can be extremely painful for TMD sufferers.
TMJ disorder symptoms include:
Pain in the jaw and temporomandibular joints
Migraines and headaches
Earaches, tinnitus, and feelings of fullness in the ears
Facial pain and tenderness
Damage to the teeth
Locking of the joints
Hearing clicking and popping sounds when you open your mouth
Swelling and tenderness on the sides of the face
Muscle tension and pain in the neck and upper shoulders
A feeling that your upper and lower jaw don’t fit together properly when you close your
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
Teeth grinding, jaw clenching, chewing gum, fingernail biting, and chewing ice cubes are all
examples of repetitive habits that can result in hyperactive and enlarged muscles around the
TMJ. When these muscles are enlarged and inflamed, the symptoms listed above begin to
manifest. Often, people think that TMJ disorder is caused by stress, but this is only partially
true—stress causes repetitive habits and muscle tension, and this muscle tension causes TMJ
pain. This is why you may notice your TMD is worse when you’re stressed.
Can Botox Help Treat TMJ?
The short answer is, yes, the use of Botox may relieve TMJ pain and discomfort. When
Botulinum toxin is injected into the temporalis and masseter muscles, it limits muscle function
and relieves pain associated with TMJ.
Then, once facial pain, headaches, swelling, and discomfort are under control with Botox, you
can then more easily address other outside stressors that increase TMD symptoms. Remember, these symptoms affect more than your teeth and jaw. Assessing and diagnosing TMJ disorders
will allow us to further improve your overall health and wellness.
How is TMJ Disorder Diagnosed?
Dr. Donald Miller of Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry will carefully examine your jaw, face,
cheeks, and neck and discuss your symptoms. He will also discuss your medical history and
evaluate your jaw& general range of motion. He will then determine where and how many
injections are needed in each facial location during your visit. Most Botox injections for TMJ will
last approximately 3-4 months.
Ready to Resolve Your Discomfort?
If you are ready to get your TMJ under control, schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr.
Donald Miller of Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry, located in downtown Fairfield,
CT. Call 203-255-6878 or visit www.fairfieldcosmeticdentistry.com today. Mention Fairfield
Moms and receive a $100 credit towards your first TMJ Botox treatment.