Far from just being a cosmetic treatment, Botox has become a common medical treatment for a variety of health problems. Predominantly used to treat patients with neuromuscular conditions, Botox is approved by the FDA for treatment of:
- Cervical dystonia – also known as spasmodic torticollis this condition causes head tilting, neck pain, and neck muscle spasms;
- Blepharospasm or abnormal eyelid spasms or twitching;
- Strabismus or crossed eyes;
- Severe underarm sweating that cannot be resolved with topical treatments;
- Muscle stiffness in the elbow, wrist, and finger muscles caused by upper limp spasticity; and
- Headaches associated with chronic migraines.
The pain and headaches caused by jaw clenching or tension can put a major damper on your day-to-day life and those struggling with these problems may be happy to learn that one of the newest advances in medicine may finally provide some relief. Botox injections can be used to treat these conditions by relaxing the jaw muscles and preventing the tensing and grinding that causes pain, discomfort, and potential damage to your teeth.
While many people still think of Botox as a primarily cosmetic treatment, the wide number of uses for the injections continues to grow as medical science discovers that full potential of this neurotoxin–derived chemical. Some are skeptical that is can be used in healthy ways but the chemical is quite safe in controlled doses with injected by a trained professional.
Since 2011 Botox has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of migraines and facial pain. Many physicians are certified in dermal filling and Botox procedures and are more than qualified to administer Botox both for cosmetic and medical procedures relating to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders.
How does it help?
Derived from the neurotoxin botulinum toxin type A, Botox is injected into a patient’s skin in small doses and functions as a muscle softener. It not only relaxes the muscles that cause wrinkles but also releases tension in the muscles that cause TMJ disorders by decreasing the strength and clenching power in the jaw. This can help relieve the pressure and pain associated with TMJ by soothing the tense jaw muscles.
A small amount of Botox – around 25-35 units is injected around the jaw line, targeting the muscles that are activated when clenching your jaw. As the muscles relax, the tension decreases and the pain from grinding or tensing the jaw is minimized. The procedure can be completed in a matter of minutes and results last up to six months.
As a an additional benefit relaxing these muscles may rejuvenate the appearance of a square, jowly droopy jaw line.