Cosmetic Surgery Tips

How Often Do You Need Botox For TMJ

Botox for TMJ

Botox is a well-known treatment for wrinkle reduction, but did you know that it’s also increasingly being used to treat medical conditions like migraines, headaches and TMJ? In many cases, the treatments are highly effective.

If you suffer from TMJ or know someone who does, you should know that there are a variety of options available to treat symptoms, depending on the diagnosis. Botox may not be the right course of action for everyone, but for those who have tried other treatments and still suffer from severe pain, Botox can provide welcome relief.

How Often Do You Need Botox For TMJ

When injected into individual facial muscles, Botox blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles. The injected muscle can’t contract. That makes the wrinkles relax and soften.  Botox treatment has the same effect on patients with TMJ by blocking the nerve, and stopping or minimizing the powerful and often unconscious jaw movement that causes TMJ pain.

Botox treatment for TMJ is a non-invasive and efficient procedure, usually completed within minutes. Patients using Botox for TMJ may need to repeat treatment every three-to-four months. However, some patients find that after several treatments their jaw muscles have broken the cycle of spasms and involuntary jaw movements. When the pain does return, it isn’t as intense as before the injections.

Botox, a neurotoxin protein, may help treat symptoms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. You may benefit most from this treatment if other methods haven’t worked. Botox may help treat the following TMJ disorder symptoms:

  • jaw tension
  • headaches due to teeth grinding
  • lockjaw in cases of severe stress

TMJ Botox Before and After


Botox may be effective in treating TMJ in some people. However, this treatment for TMJ disorders is experimental. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved Botox for use in TMJ disorders.

A 2012 study found that Botox could significantly decrease pain and increase mouth movements for three months following treatment. This was a small study that had only 26 participants.

The results of two other studies, one published in 2003, and the other published in 2008, were similar. In the 2003 study, there was improvement of symptoms in up to 90 percent of participants who didn’t respond to conservative treatments. Despite encouraging study results, researchers still recommend more studies to help better understand the full effectiveness of Botox treatment for TMJ disorders.

Side effects

The most common side effects of Botox for TMJ treatment are:

  • headache
  • respiratory infection
  • flu-like illness
  • nausea
  • temporary eyelid droop

Botox may also cause a “fixed” smile that could last for six to eight weeks. The paralyzing effect of Botox on muscles causes this side effect.

There are also other reported side effects linked to the Botox injection. They generally appear within the first week of treatment and include:

  • pain
  • redness at the injection site
  • muscle weakness
  • bruising at the injection site

What happens during the procedure?

Botox treatment for TMJ disorder is a nonsurgical, outpatient procedure. Your healthcare provider can perform it right in their office. Each treatment session typically takes 10-30 minutes. You could expect to have at least three injection sessions over the course of several months.

Your healthcare provider will inject Botox into your forehead, temple, and jaw muscles. They may also inject other areas depending on your symptoms. Your doctor will decide the number of Botox injections you need. The injection may cause you to feel pain, similar to a bug bite or prick. Doctors recommend easing the pain with a cold pack or numbing cream.

Although some improvement can be felt within a day or two of treatment, it usually takes several days to feel relief. People who’ve had Botox treatment for TMJ can expect to return to their regular activities as soon as they leave their doctor’s office.

You should remain upright and avoid rubbing or massaging the injection sites for several hours after treatment. This helps prevent the toxin from spreading to other muscles.

How much is Botox for TMJ

Call your insurer to find out if they cover TMJ treatments, including Botox injections. They will likely not cover the treatment because the FDA has not approved Botox for this use. But it’s worth asking in case they do cover the treatment.

The cost of Botox treatment for TMJ will vary. Your treatment needs, the number of Botox injections, and the severity of your symptoms will determine how much you spend on the procedure. The geographic location where you receive treatment will also affect the cost. Treatment could cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000 or more, according to one medical provider.

Will insurance cover Botox for TMJ

Your insurance probably won’t pay it because the FDA does not authorize Botox as a treatment for TMJ issues. However, your insurance company should be able to advise you on the procedures you need to take to get reimbursement for your Botox treatment if your disease is the source of your migraines. 


Botox injections are shown to be a relatively safe and effective treatment for TMJ disorders. But more research is needed to determine its full range of benefits.

If you’re interested in Botox treatment for TMJ, it’s important to keep in mind that you may have to pay for the procedure out of pocket. Your insurance provider may not cover the costs because the FDA has not approved Botox for treating TMJ. But if you haven’t responded to other treatment methods or don’t want an invasive procedure, getting Botox injections may provide you with the relief you need.

Other treatment options for TMJ

Botox injections aren’t the only treatment for TMJ. Other surgical and nonsurgical options can ease your symptoms. Traditional and alternative treatments for TMJ include:

  • medications such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatory
  • muscle relaxants
  • physical therapy
  • oral splints or mouth guards
  • open-joint surgery to repair or replace the joint
  • arthroscopy, a minimally invasive surgery that uses a scope and small instruments to treat TMJ disorders
  • arthrocentesis, a minimally invasive procedure that helps remove debris and inflammatory byproducts
  • surgery on the mandible to treat pain and lockjaw
  • acupuncture
  • relaxation techniques

Talk to your healthcare provider about all of your treatment options. You may benefit from using a combination of treatments, or you may need to try several treatments before finding one that works for you.

Will Insurance Cover Botox for TMJ

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a condition that affects the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. It can cause pain, discomfort, and difficulty moving the jaw. Botox injections have been found to be an effective treatment for TMJ, as they can help relax the muscles in the jaw and reduce pain. However, many patients wonder if their insurance will cover the cost of these injections.Insurance coverage for Botox injections for TMJ can vary depending on the policy and provider. In general, insurance companies are more likely to cover Botox injections for TMJ if other treatment options have been tried and failed. These may include medications, physical therapy, and splints or mouth guards.Before undergoing Botox injections for TMJ, it is important to check with your insurance provider to see if the treatment is covered. Your healthcare provider may also be able to assist you in determining if your insurance will cover the procedure.It is important to note that even if your insurance does cover Botox injections for TMJ, there may still be out-of-pocket costs involved. This could include co-pays, deductibles, or limitations on the number of treatments allowed.In some cases, patients may need to provide documentation of their TMJ diagnosis and the failure of other treatments in order to qualify for insurance coverage of Botox injections. This may include medical records, x-rays, or a referral from a specialist.Overall, while insurance coverage for Botox injections for TMJ is possible, it is not guaranteed. Patients considering this treatment option should discuss their options with their healthcare provider and insurance company to determine the best course of action.

Insurance Coverage for Botox for TMJDetailsLikelihood of coverageVaries depending on insurance policy and providerRequired documentationMay need to provide proof of TMJ diagnosis and failure of other treatmentsOut-of-pocket costsMay still be applicable even with insurance coverage

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