At Arden House we can treat jaw pain with Botox® injections, which may be provided to patients following a consultation. This is an effective way to relieve some types of jaw problems, known as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD), which are linked to stress and cause teeth grinding (bruxism), debilitating earaches and lockjaw.
Botox® is a trade name for Botulinum Toxin Type A, a purified protein that is administered by a tiny injection to stop your nerves from sending messages to muscles, without loss of feeling or unwanted changes in your appearance.
Tension is immediately eased in the joint by relaxing the jaw muscles, preventing or reducing unconscious jaw movement and ending or relieving grinding-related headaches and migraines. Normal functions such as speaking, swallowing, and biting are left unaffected and treatment can be repeated three or four times a year. After multiple treatments the effects may last for up to six months.
Bruxism affects about one in four adults in the UK, with symptoms that can include an aching jaw, headaches, gum problems and the wear of tooth enamel. The pressure on the teeth during grinding can be 20 times greater than when eating and, as a result, teeth can end up shorter with sharp edges and tiny chip marks, can become covered in notches and can start to work loose, with fillings being lost or worn too.
What happens in the consultation?
We’ll assess your medical history, make an examination of your facial muscles, your neck and shoulders, possibly take photographs and discuss your expectations.
What happens in the procedure?
Botox injections take approximately 20 minutes to administer, depending on the amount required. The injections are no more painful than an insect bite or pinprick, and normal activity can be resumed immediately, although strenuous activity should be avoided for 24 hours after treatment. It may take several days to feel the full benefits of the treatment, but the effects last three to four months.
What can Botox® be used for?
- temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD)
- teeth grinding (bruxism)
- jaw pain
Does it hurt?
The injections are no more painful than an insect bite or pinprick. There may be mild temporary bruising, numbness, or redness around the injection sites.
How does it work?
Botulinum Toxin Type A is a neurotoxin in the form of a purified protein and it is injected into muscles to block the transmitters between the motor nerves. Once the motor nerve endings are interrupted, the muscle cannot contract. There is no loss of feeling in the muscles.
How does it work against TMJD?
The temporomandibular joint is located just in front of the ears where the skull adjoins the jawbone on both sides of the head and it is constantly being used for chewing, biting, speaking and swallowing. The main causes of TMJD are jaw displacement and stress-related involuntary jaw movements such as bruxism, (teeth grinding), which often occurs at night without the individual being aware. Botulinum Toxin Type A may relieve tension in the joint and alleviates:
- headaches, facial pain and migraines caused by nighttime grinding
- shoulder and neck pain
- jaw tension
Are there any long term benefits?
Yes, controlling TMJD can prevent serious dental problems from occurring later. If left untreated it can contribute to tooth wear, increasing risks of decay, gum disease and the loosening of teeth.
What are the possible side effects?
In rare cases patients may experience one or more of the following: headache, temporary blurred vision, nausea, pain, redness at the spot of injection, muscle weakness.
Is Botox® suitable for everyone?
No. A consultation is required and it is just one of many possible treatments that may be recommended at Arden House. It is not suitable for pregnant and lactating, (breast feeding), women and cannot be used in conjunction with some other medications.
How long do the results last?
The effects last for three to four months and it may take up to two weeks to see the full results. With repeated treatments three or four times a year the effects of each treatment may start to last longer, in some cases for up to six months.