When many people consider BOTOX®, they often think of famous movie stars using it to seemingly defy the laws of nature by preventing the appearance of wrinkles on their faces, thereby slowing down the aging process by several years. While it is true that BOTOX® can be used for this purpose, that is far from the only thing it can be useful for. It has uses in medicine that venture outside the cosmetic realm, such as using BOTOX® to treat Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD. Also commonly referred to as TMJ), or severe grinding or clenching, also called bruxism.
TMD can be a very uncomfortable condition to suffer from and is a wide, catch-all name that is used to describe several different types of jaw disorders. If left untreated, not only can the condition be uncomfortable, but it can also lead to changes in the shape of the face and the ability to chew as normal. That is why using BOTOX® for TMD treatment is a great place to start when a patient needs to mitigate the pain they are currently feeling. However, before beginning any type of medical treatment, it is important to understand how it works, so with that in mind, what is the science behind this methodology?
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How Does BOTOX® Help Treat TMJ?
BOTOX®, which is an injection of the botulinum toxin, is a treatment that temporarily makes the muscles in the area in which it is injected unable to move. This is useful in treating several medical conditions, but especially TMD, because when a patient is suffering from this condition, the muscle often moves unconsciously and in an uncomfortable manner. As a result, BOTOX® for TMD helps to provide some relief from this often debilitating condition.
The procedure is simple and painless, consisting of a couple of injections in the afflicted area. Afterward, the patient will immediately be able to return to their daily life, as there is no real recovery time required for this procedure. It is not invasive in any way and most certainly does not qualify as surgery.
It should be noted, however, that BOTOX® for TMD should only be used as a pain relief method to mitigate the pain of TMD, not to remove the actual root cause of it. BOTOX® is incapable of actually treating the condition, as it can only help the patient feel more comfortable. It is absolutely a viable option to use in this manner, but it should be used in conjunction with another type of treatment which will offer a more permanent solution while helping to get rid of the uncomfortable feeling that TMJ so often causes patients.
If you or someone you know is interested in receiving BOTOX® for TMD, please contact Dr. Q through her website or by phone at (626) 599-9819.