TMJ Injection Treatments

Are you suffering from dizziness, earaches, jaw pain, or other causes of discomfort? While many people experience these symptoms, they might also suffer from chronic fatigue, irritability, ringing of the ears (tinnitus), difficulty swallowing, and other symptoms associated with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). These pain cases often go unrecognized in your family doctor’s office because their standard of training does not often require them to learn about the relationship between teeth, jawbones, and the alignment of the jaws to the rest of the body.

What are TMJ injection treatments?

TMJ injection treatments are a method of treating TMJ with injections such as corticosteroids, a powerful anti-inflammatory drug, or BOTOX. TMJ injections can be delivered directly into the joint to relieve severe cases of TMJ or TMD. Injections of BOTOX (botulinum toxin type A) can be delivered into the jaw muscles to help relax unconscious or involuntary clenching, effectively relieving the pain associated with TMJ disorders.

Trigger Point Injections

Trigger point injections are used to break up and relax muscle knots, or trigger points. Once a trigger point becomes active, it is capable of producing intense muscle pain. Trigger point injections relieve this pain and reduce muscle fatigue, strain, injury, and teeth grinding or clenching. Trigger point injections are also used to reduce pain in muscle groups that refer to pain from one specific area to other areas of the head, neck, and even the upper shoulder areas. 

Small quantities of an anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medication will be injected directly into the painful, stiff muscle groups. A series of 3-4 injections are required, spaced a week apart.  Patients who suffer from debilitating effects of jaw pain benefit greatly from the use of trigger point injection therapy. With the availability of trigger point injections, combined with other forms of treatment, long-term management of TMD is in sight.

BOTOX for TMJ Treatment

BOTOX is a highly effective treatment for TMJ. BOTOX relaxes the muscles that clench, significantly decreasing involuntary mouth movements and pain for a period of three months. A clinical study found that TMJ symptoms were reduced in 90 percent of participants who were treated with BOTOX injections.

During your treatment, BOTOX will be injected into the forehead, temples, and jaw muscles. Other areas may also be injected with BOTOX, depending on your symptoms and unique needs.

Each BOTOX treatment session takes approximately 10-30 minutes. Injections are given in a series of three sessions that take place over the course of several months. Patients typically feel improvement within a day or two of their injections, with more complete relief after several days.

What can BOTOX injections address?

BOTOX can address a range of concerns, including the following: 

  • Bruxism 
  • TMJ 
  • Teeth clenching 
  • Teeth grinding
  • Jaw tension
  • Headaches 
  • In cases of severe stress, lockjaw 

Benefits of TMJ injection treatments

Candidates for TMJ injection treatments

BOTOX or trigger point injections provide significant benefits for patients who are suffering from the effects of TMJ, including the following:

  • Eliminates headaches caused by clenching and grinding
  • Minimizes lockjaw
  • Reduces pain in the jaw, shoulder and neck
  • Substantially reduces jaw tension
  • Lasts for 3-4 months
  • Short treatment time
  • Minimally invasive, requiring no surgical procedures or incisions
  • Painless, simple treatment
  • No downtime 

Men or women who suffer from TMJ are typically candidates for injection treatments.

Candidates should meet the following requirements:

  • Are generally in good health
  • Are not pregnant 
  • Have no history of neuromuscular diseases
  • Do not have a skin infection or outbreak in the treatment area

Recovery

TMJ Treatment San Francisco

After TMJ injection treatments, there is no downtime. Patients can return to their regular activities or daily routine as soon as the treatment is complete. There may be some mild swelling or redness, which is usually brief.

For several hours after BOTOX injections, remain upright and avoid rubbing or massaging the injection sites. This ensures the BOTOX doesn’t spread to other muscles and can instead take full effect in the area requiring treatment. 

Why choose the San Francisco Center for TMJ and Sleep Apnea?

Dr. Larson is Triple Board Certified by the American Board of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine (ABCDSM), American Academy of Craniofacial Pain (AACP), and American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine ABDSM. He has two decades of experience in full mouth rehabilitation, cosmetics, implantology, and jaw dysfunction disorders such as TMJ. Dr. Larson has completed additional training in TMD and Sleep Breathing Disorders with the American Academy of Facial Esthetics, and the Misch Institute. 

Contact San Francisco TMJ and Sleep Specialist Dr. Larson and his team to learn more about trigger point injection therapy and BOTOX injections for the treatment and management of TMD, and other sources of pain.