We previously wrote about the possible use of Botox to treat jaw pain. The sliding hinges that connect each side of your jawbone to your skull are known as the temporomandibular joints, TMJ for short. The powerful masseter muscles surrounding the jaw are responsible for moving the jaw, but most particularly they are used when chewing food.
TMJ joints can become inflamed via trauma to the jaw or neck, but the most common cause is long-term repeated clenching or grinding of the teeth while sleeping. You may never be aware that you suffer from this unless your partner complains about your nocturnal teeth grinding, or your dentist starts to notice premature teeth wear.
Untreated TMJ pain can cause various other problems: most typically ear pain or tinnitus, but it can also lead to migraine headaches, depression, and even eating disorders.
Consequences of Large Masseters
Large masseter muscles may simply be part of your genetic makeup, but they may be due to teeth grinding, or possibly due to your eating (and chewing) habits. Regular use of chewing gum can contribute to the problem. Having well-developed masseter muscles does not in itself indicate that you have or will develop TMJ inflammation, but they can also have undesired cosmetic effects.
As the masseter muscles around the jaw become larger they can modify the shape of the lower face, creating a wider and more square-looking jaw line.
Treatment Using Botox
As Botox works by selectively blocking the nerve signals that cause muscles to contract, judiciously placed Botox injections can provide an effective way to reduce the intensity of the masseter muscle contractions. Over time this can lead to a reduction in the size of the muscles, as well as significantly relieving TMJ pain symptoms.
Botox provides effective but temporary relief – you should expect to have to re-apply Botox after some period, typically between six months and a year. You may find that the need for re-application lessens as your muscles reduce in size, and/or your TMJ inflammation reduces.
Using Botox to address TMJ and masseter problems requires far greater medical knowledge and experience than using it for typical cosmetic wrinkle control purposes. You should be sure to carefully question the credentials and experience of any practitioner before committing to a course of Botox treatment for these problems.
Your Laser Skin Care
Your Laser Skin Care practitioners are medically qualified and experienced in providing Botox treatments. We can provide expert advice on the best ways to address your particular situation. We also have extensive experience with a wide variety of other non-invasive cosmetic procedures and can help you choose the safest, most effective, and most cost-effective way to achieve your cosmetic goals. Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation, or visit us online for more information.