If you’re suffering from jaw pain, we feel for you. TMD is extremely painful and persistent, and can impact all aspects of your life. It can be especially painful when doing one thing that can bring so much joy: eating. TMD can be caused by many things, but one main cause is stress. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, TMD cases have been on the rise. As a result, we want to spread the word about how Botox can help you overcome TMD.
What is TMJ and TMD?
Two abbreviations you’re going to see throughout this post are TMJ and TMD, so let’s go over what those mean. The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the two joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull, creating a hinge for your mouth. TMD stands for temporomandibular disorders (TMD), which are disorders of the jaw muscles and the temporomandibular joints.
“Disorders” of the jaw muscles and the temporomandibular joints sounds vague, but you may have TMD if you are experiencing:
- Discomfort or soreness in your jaw
- Clicking or popping of the jaw
- Teeth grinding (possibly in your sleep)
- Limited mouth motions or a locking of the jaw
You don’t need to be experiencing ALL of these in order to be diagnosed with TMD, but if you have a majority of these symptoms, then it’s possible that you have TMD.
What causes TMD?
There are many factors that can cause TMD. Sometimes an injury or inflammation to the jaw joint will cause the muscles and nerves to flare up. However, stress is also a common cause for TMJ pain. Stress can cause you to clench your jaw, making the TMJ and the muscles around it tense. Repeated clenching and muscle tensing can cause inflammation. For some, an inflamed and tense TMJ area can create chronic headaches and numerous issues such as pain, swelling, clicking, teeth grinding, or lack of movement in the jaw area. So if you’ve been experiencing TMJ pain but can’t figure out the cause, we suggest that you consider your recent stress levels. If your stress has been high, that could be the culprit.
How does Botox help?
Prescription muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory medications, and mouth guards are often prescribed to someone experiencing TMJ. However, these are short-term fixes, which, for many, don’t address the underlying issue. The result is often a continuation of pain.
This is where Botox comes in. The main function of Botox is to relax muscles. This function makes it great for preventing the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, but it also helps to relax the overly-tense muscles in the jaw area. Often, the tense muscles are operating on their own accord without you even realizing it. Botox injections relaxes them, making them unable to perform those movements that cause pain. With Botox, the underlying issue is addressed, since once the muscles are relaxed, the pain soon disappears. After the injection treatment, patients typically begin feeling improvement within 7-10 days.Botox isn’t just used for aesthetics. Many patients find it helpful with treating their TMJ pain. If you have TMD and want relief, consider making an appointment here at our Middletown, DE, or Lewes, DE, offices. Interested in learning more about other benefits of Botox? Read about how it can with migraines and excessive sweating here. Get back to being your best self, minted beauties!