Are you experiencing any issues with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ)? In this guide, we will review Botox For Tmj Before And After Pictures, can botox make tmj worse, botox for tmj covered by insurance, and botox for tmj side effects.
The TMJ is located on either side of the head, just in front of the ear, and connects the lower jaw to the skull. It’s what allows you to perform a variety of functions such as chewing, speaking, yawning and more. When it’s not working properly, it can lead to issues like pain around the ear, headaches and even pain in the neck.
People who experience TMJ dysfunction or disorder often seek out Botox treatments to alleviate their symptoms. Botox works by relaxing specific muscles throughout your face that are causing you pain. In this post you’ll also read about botox for tmj cost and botox for tmj side effects.
Botox For TMJ Before And After Pictures
- Aside from minimizing the appearance of wrinkles, Botox can be used to treat sore, swollen jaws.
- I tried it out for the first time after experiencing TMJ pain, and it was totally worth it.
- I was surprised to find out it only lasts for a few months, and it costs a lot for each procedure.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, I lost my income, social life, and general way. To cope with this stress, I also started subconsciously clenching my jaw.
I didn’t think much of it until the sides of my usually slim face started looking more and more like Gaston’s from “Beauty and the Beast.” I also started getting weekly migraines and other temporomandibular-joint (TMJ) pain, which only made me clench more.
I decided to treat these symptoms with jaw Botox, and it was totally worth it, but there were several things that surprised me about the process.
Botox isn’t just for preventing wrinkles
Most are familiar with Botox for its wrinkle-smoothing powers, but Dr. Ryan Neinstein, the board-certified New York City plastic surgeon who did my procedure, told me it can also help reduce pain and aid in functional recovery.
“Through its action on muscles that work on or around the temporomandibular joint, Botox can reduce jaw pain, teeth grinding, all at the same time slimming and contouring the lower face,” he said.
They didn’t numb me before the injections
Neinstein explained that given the state of my jaw, he’d use about 30 units of Botox on each side of my face, which he said is pretty typical.
I’m not afraid of needles, but I assumed they’d numb me up before starting.
I learned that for this jaw procedure, numbing agents aren’t really necessary since the area isn’t particularly thin-skinned or sensitive.
Being injected with Botox didn’t hurt at all
Funnily enough, Neinstein told me to clench down on my jaw before giving me the injection (so he could pinpoint exactly where to place it).
I took a deep breath, the needle went in, and before I could think, one side of my face was already done.
It didn’t hurt at all.
Botox isn’t cheap, but neither was managing my pain
The estimated cost for jaw Botox is $600. But this number depends on how many units are used, so if your case is less severe, you’ll pay less.
I didn’t flinch at this number because being migraine-free and having my face back was worth a lot more to me. In fact, I think I lost more money dealing with my pain.
In some cases, though, depending on why you’re getting Botox and how severe your issues are, insurance providers can cover some of the cost.
My face didn’t change instantly
Unlike the instant gratification of a haircut, it took several weeks for me to notice any changes to my face.
I didn’t even experience bruising or additional swelling, which was surprising because I’m prone to it.
Luckily, while I waited for my face to deflate, my migraines decreased. It was such a relief to get those stolen hours of my life back.
I felt very sleepy afterward
Drowsiness was one of my main side effects.
I was super sleepy and groggy after the injections — I could barely keep my eyes open. But I had to be alert for at least four hours because Neinstein said I should stay upright so the Botox wouldn’t travel to other parts of my face.
The injections last 3 to 6 months
I’m not sure where I got it in my head that Botox is forever, but I learned that if I wanted to maintain results, I’d be making quarterly or biannual appointments.
“Therapeutic changes start to occur around three weeks and can last three to six months,” Neinstein said.
Botox For TMJ Cost
Botox® for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain is priced at $15 per unit. Depending on the number of units needed and the size of the area to be covered, the average cost of a session can range from $350 to $600.
*alternatives to Botox®, such as Xeomin®, are available to patients (incobotulinumtoxinA). Costs may range from one listed price to another.
Botox’s most common adverse effects when used to treat TMJ are:
Inflammation of the respiratory system accompanied by headaches
similar to the flu
eyelid drooping temporarily
Botox has been associated with a “fixed” smile that can last for up to eight weeks. This effect occurs because Botox paralyzes the affected muscles.
The Botox injection has been linked to a number of other symptoms, too. In most cases, they manifest themselves during the first week of therapy and consist of the following:
Redness, pain, and swelling around the injection site
Bruising around the injection site Muscle weakness
can botox make tmj worse
I have had botox for TMJ. I was hoping it would help, but it actually made things worse.
Is it true?
Botox is a drug that is injected into the muscle. It blocks nerve impulses to the muscles, which causes them to relax. Botox is used for cosmetic reasons, such as reducing wrinkles and frown lines around your eyes or mouth. It’s also used to treat TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), a painful disorder affecting jaw muscles that causes clicking or popping sounds when you chew or open your mouth wide enough to yawn.
What is Botox?
Botox is a toxin, also known as botulinum toxin. It’s derived from the bacteria that causes botulism food poisoning. Botox can be used to treat muscle spasms and wrinkles, but it can also have serious side effects if injected into your jaw muscles.
When you get injections of Botox at a cosmetic clinic, they will inject the drug directly into the muscles on either side of your face where they are causing pain or making it difficult for you to open your mouth or chew food properly. The idea behind this treatment is that when these muscles relax after being injected with Botox, they won’t cause any further problems for you in terms of how much space there is inside your mouth for eating comfortably without feeling like something might slip down into one of those spaces (which could lead to choking).
botox for tmj covered by insurance
If the question, “ Does insurance cover Botox for TMJ and bruxism?” has crossed your mind as you nurse the painful symptoms of TMJ and bruxism, you’re not alone.
Botox can be a very effective treatment for TMJ (also known as TMD) and bruxism, as many people who have the procedure report minimal side effects and significant relief from their TMJ or bruxism.
However, repeated Botox treatments aren’t cheap. Though Botox is typically billed to medical insurance, many insurance companies do not cover Botox treatments for TMJ and bruxism.
Insurance Coverage for Botox
Botox can be a valuable tool to treat bruxism and TMJ — as long as you can afford it. The procedure is typically run through medical insurance companies rather than dental insurance companies. Note that Botox has not yet been approved by the FDA to treat bruxism and TMJ.
While most insurance plans don’t cover the treatment, it never hurts to ask. Depending on your plan, your insurance company may offer some coverage for Botox to treat TMD and bruxism. However, you need to understand your coverage before scheduling a Botox consultation. If you get the treatment done and later find out it’s not covered, you will be responsible for the cost.
For instance, Healthline explains, “Medicare does offer coverage when botox is used as a medically necessary treatment”.
Botox for TMJ or bruxism could cost up to $1,500 per treatment. If your insurance company does not cover Botox treatment for bruxism and TMJ, you can manage your symptoms and protect your teeth with other, more affordable treatment options.
Most notably, those with bruxism can turn to night guards as a cost-effective way to protect your teeth and reduce symptoms. You can get a professionally-made, custom-fit night guard online for as little as $160.
Rather than order online, those with TMJ should consult with a dentist about night guards and other treatment options. TMJ mouth guards are different from mouth guards for bruxism — they help reposition, stabilize, and take pressure off the jaw.
How Botox Injections Treat TMJ and Bruxism
Botox is an alternative treatment for TMJ and teeth grinding that works by weakening and relaxing the jaw muscles. It’s typically injected into the masseter muscle, which is just below the cheekbones. Though this muscle will be relaxed, you can still smile, chew, and operate your jaw normally.
Although the FDA has not approved Botox for treating TMJ and bruxism, studies have shown it can reduce symptoms. And because it is an effective treatment, a few insurance plans may offer coverage regardless of whether it is approved by the FDA.
Some patients who use Botox report mild side effects such as bruising and bleeding at the injection site. This side effect may increase after repeated use.
TMJ and Bruxism Background
TMJ and bruxism are related conditions, both affecting the jaw muscles. These conditions create very similar symptoms, so we’ll take a look at each in turn.
TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is a condition involving dysfunction in your jaw joints. Symptoms of TMJ disorders can include:
Bruxism is a condition where people grind and clench their teeth (usually at night). Symptoms of clenching and grinding can include:
These symptoms are annoying at best and can be extremely painful and damaging at worst. When you suffer from bruxism or TMJ, you seek any treatment that could offer relief, including Botox. But because it’s not covered by most insurance plans, you may want to look into other ways to ease your symptoms.
Many people find Botox relieves their bruxism and TMJ symptoms. However, it’s often too expensive because many insurance plans don’t cover it.
A night guard is an affordable and successful treatment for most people. Night guards can relieve common bruxism and TMJ symptoms such as sore jaw muscles, and they protect against tooth damage caused by clenching and grinding.
While we don’t recommend online mouth guards to those with TMJ, bruxism sufferers can get a custom-fit mouthguard at an affordable price from Pro Teeth Guard. We make our night guards in a professional dental lab, and every night guard is guaranteed to fit comfortably with our 110% money-back guarantee.
botox for tmj side effects
There’s still much about the underlying nature of chronic jaw joint dysfunction we have yet to unravel. Treating these conditions known as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMDs) may therefore require some experimentation to find what works for each individual patient.
Most TMD therapies are relatively conservative: eating softer foods, taking anti-inflammatory pain relievers or undergoing physical therapy. There have been some surgical techniques tried to relieve jaw pain and dysfunction, but these have so far had mixed results.
Recently, the use of the drug Botox has been promoted for relieving jaw pain, albeit temporarily. Botox contains tiny amounts of botulinum toxin type A, a poisonous substance derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can cause muscle paralysis. It’s mainly used to cosmetically smooth out small wrinkles around facial features.
Because of these properties, some physicians have proposed Botox for TMD treatment to paralyze the muscles around the jaw to reduce pain and discomfort. While the treatment sounds intriguing, there are a number of reasons to be wary of it if you have TMD.
To begin with, the claims for Botox’s success in relieving jaw pain have been mainly anecdotal. On the other hand, findings from randomized, double-blind trials have yet to show any solid evidence that Botox can produce these pain-relieving effects.
But even if it lived up to the claims of TMD pain relief, the effect would eventually fade in a few weeks or months, requiring the patient to repeat the injections. It’s possible with multiple Botox injections that the body will develop antibodies to fight the botulinum toxin, causing the treatment to be less effective with subsequent injections.
Of even greater concern are the potential side effects of Botox TMD treatment, ranging from headaches and soreness at the injection site to more serious muscle atrophy and possible facial deformity from repeated injections. There’s also evidence for decreased bone density in the jaw, which could have far-reaching consequences for someone with TMD.
The best approach still seems to lie in the more conservative therapies that treat TMD similar to other joint disorders. Finding the right combination of therapies that most benefit you will help you better manage your symptoms.
If you would like more information on treatments for TMD, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Botox Treatment for TMJ Pain.”