Masseter Botox: Botox for TMJ, Botox Jaw Injections, Info, Cost
Botox isn’t just for looks. Masseter botox injected directly into the jaw muscles relieves TMJ pain and jaw-clenching symptoms. Using botox for TMJ pain and teeth-clenching can be a safe and effective treatment for many that provides stable relief. Stay tuned until the end of our deep dive to our free quiz to see if botox jaw injections are right for you!
This treatment is one of the most-requested alternative uses for botox, and in this post, we will break down botox for teeth-clenching symptoms including info, pros and cons, and cost.
Masseter Botox: Info
It’s estimated that over 12 million Americans suffer from some form of jaw pain due to a TMJ disorder. While this type of jaw pain can affect anyone, it is most common in men aged 35-54.
The primary cause of TMJ disorder is clenching the jaw or grinding the teeth, which is largely related to stress or other pre-existing factors. Also, caffeine intake has been noted to contribute to teeth grinding (also called bruxism), jaw clenching, and TMJ pain.
So, what does TMJ stand for? The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the hinge joint at the top of the jawbone that connects to the cheekbone. This joint opens and closes your jaw, and allows your jaw to travel forward, backward, and to each side. While there are three primary muscles responsible for the jaw, the masseter muscle, in particular, is responsible for opening and closing the jaw. Lastly, the masseter also is responsible for other jaw movements involved in teeth-grinding.
When the masseter muscle is used too much, the muscle tenses up and gets inflamed. Extra pressure is placed at the TM joint, which can cause further inflammation, stiffness. At its worst, overusing the masseter muscle can cause lockjaw or popping at the TM joint.
While there are many methods to treat TMJ pain after it happens, masseter botox is the only way to medically prevent TMJ pain. Botox (botulinum toxin) contains a naturally occurring chemical that temporarily paralyzes muscle. The active agent in botox blocks the muscle from receiving electrical signals from the nervous system, which relaxes the muscle without causing permanent damage.
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Botox Jaw Injection Sites
When injected into masseter muscle, botox relaxes the muscle relaxes the muscle. Because botox relaxes the muscle, the injections reduce the muscle’s ability to clench or grind the teeth, which are the main causes of TMJ pain. Thankfully, the injections do not relax the muscle so much that you can’t open your jaw or chew, but the masseter muscle’s strength is gently reduced so clenching and grinding do not have the same effect that they used to.
First, Botox jaw injections start by locating the masseter’s “safe area” on each side using the boundaries of the patients’ unique anatomy. Because it is important to inject only in this safe area, many providers will draw on the face with chalk or a marker to clearly define the boundaries.
Then, the provider will inject between two to four locations within the safe zone. How many injections a patient receives depends on their anatomy and the severity of their symptoms.
Lastly, botox jaw injections have an unexpected benefit: slimming the jawline. Since the masseter muscle is paralyzed, it begins to shrink from unused. This cosmetic effect is sometimes desired by women or men who wish to reduce a strong or bulging jawline or lessen the size of their face.
Masseter Botox: Pros and Cons
Botox for TMJ Pros
- Relief in less than a week
- Safe when performed by a qualified injector
- Reduces the pain of teeth grinding and clenching
- Lasts up to four months
- Slims the jawline for a flattering profile
- Can be financed by CareCredit
Botox for TMJ Cons
- Needs to be refreshed 3-4 times a year
- Can be risky in the hands of an inexperienced or bargain injector
- Rarely covered by insurance
Masseter Botox: Cost
The cost for masseter botox varies depending on the provider. The procedure uses about half a bottle of botox, which can cost up to $700, depending on the skill of the medical injector, the quality of the clinic, and where you live.
Botox for TMJ is not approved by the FDA. Therefore, it is important to have a well-educated, experienced, and qualified injector safely perform the procedure. Likewise, don’t price shop this procedure to find bargain botox jaw injections. Lastly, when you look for a provider, look for their medical qualifications, how many years they have been injecting (not just their years as a medical professional), and if they are board-certified in aesthetic medicine.
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Masseter Botox: Time & Duration of Effect
The treatment for masseter botox is very short, and only takes about 15-20 minutes. After that, your botox will take a few days to kick in, and you will start feeling results in 2-5 days. Also, Masseter botox lasts for up to 4 months, and will need to be refreshed three or four times a year to keep the result.
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