Botox for Teeth Grinding/ TMJ Disorder/ Facial Slimming

Botox isn't just for wrinkles anymore. 

If you have issues with teeth grinding, chronic headaches, or jaw or ear pain, you may have TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder.  Beyond the daily discomfort and pain, untreated TMJ disorder can eventually lead to a cycle of severe tooth damage requiring expensive dental restorations.  

Did you know that the masseter/chewing muscle in the cheek is the strongest muscle in the body (based on force exertion)? And unfortunately, this muscle gets quite a workout every day in Individulas who constantly grind and clench their teeth at night.  TMJ disorder can cause migraines and tension headaches, cracked teeth, and jaw pain.  While mouth guards are designed  to help protect teeth, they do nothing to stop the muscle grinding.  That's where Botox comes in.  It does a great job at gently relaxing these overworked muscles with a quick, painless office procedure.  This treatment is no less than lifechanging for many of our patients...literally lifechanging. 

Does insurance cover the cost of injections?
Unfortunately, we haven't been able to get medical insurance coverage, but we always try to keep our prices reasonable for patients.  Come see us on a Botox discount day to save money, and follow us on Instagram/Facebook to stay up to date about any company rebates that are offered.  Also, if you have an HSA account, this procedure should qualify for coverage. 

When will I see results?
Results take up to 1-2 weeks for the final effect.  We typically start with a standard dose of 40-60 units of Botox (or 100-150 units of Dysport) and follow up on your results after 2 weeks.  Some patients with extremely strong muscles may require more medication.  

How often do I repeat the procedure?
Most individuals need treatments every 3-6 months, depending on the strength of their muscles.  Overall, expect to repeat the injections at 3 months, then possibly only twice a year as the muscle becomes more relaxed. 

What about my square  jawline?
The overworked masseter muscles get thicker and bulkier after years of grinding, just like a bodybuilder training for competition in the gym.  This gives many patients an undesirable wide/square lower jawline.  The facial slimming effect of Botox is a slower process as the muscle settles down.  These results are typically evident after 6 weeks of relaxation.  Some patients elect to have this procedure performed for the facial slimming effect alone.  For those treating TMJ disorder, this is always a nice bonus. 

Are there any side effects?
Most patients have no after-effects and can resume normal activity immediately.  Mild bruising or swelling may be possible but is extremely rare in this area.  For the first few weeks, the muscle may feel tired after strong chewing, but this quickly resolves as the body adapts.