Botox is commonly used to address wrinkles in the face, but it can also be used to address TMJ pain and to contour the face.
What is Botox and what does Botox do?
Botox is a purified protein most commonly used to address wrinkles associated with facial expression. These include the horizontal lines seen on the upper forehead when we raise our brows, the vertical lines seen between the brows when we frown, and the crow’s feet seen around the eyes when we smile or squint.
What is TMJ pain?
TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that we use on our face when we move the jaw to eat or speak. TMJ pain occurs when there is excessive use of the joint or excessive pressure on the joint. This occurs frequently in people who grind or clench their teeth. The joint can become inflamed, swollen, and painful. If severe it can even lead to migraine headaches.
How does Botox treat TMJ pain?
To treat TMJ pain Botox is placed in the masseter muscle in the lower face. This is the muscle on the sides of the jaw that we use to bite. In people with TMJ disorders this muscle sometimes gets strong and large and sometimes a bulge is seen there. When injected into this muscle, Botox will relax the muscle. As a result the strength in which a person grinds or clenches is reduced significantly. This decreases the stress on the TMJ joint and will lead to decreased levels of stress on the joint, relieving the inflammation, pain, and swelling.
How does Botox contour the face?
When Botox is placed into the masseter, the muscle itself gets smaller, which decreases the bulge on the lower face on the sides of the jaw. This bulge can give a masculine square jaw appearance. When the muscle is reduced in size, decreasing the width of the lower face, providing a feminine heart shape to the lower face.
How long does it last?
A Botox treatment for TMJ pain or to contour the lower face typically uses higher doses than what is used in the upper face. So most patients enjoy their results for longer than the typical three to four months, sometimes up to six to nine months. At that time a maintenance treatment is recommended.
What are the side effects of Botox?
When the masseter muscle is treated with Botox, the muscle becomes relaxed and it is difficult to use the muscle, which prevents you from grinding your teeth. At the same time it does make it more difficult to bite or chew. This takes some time to adjust to. With any injection there is a risk for pain, bleeding, bruising, and infection. At A E Skin we take precautions to minimize such adverse effects, For example, we thoroughly clean the area with alcohol prior to treatment and use a painless technique to maximize your comfort. We provide complimentary laser bruise treatments as early as the next day; this makes the bruise disappear more quickly. There is also the possibility that Botox spreads to nearby muscles, which can lead to a temporary asymmetric smile.
What should I do after a Botox treatment?
After a Botox treatment please avoid heat exposure, alcohol consumption, and strenuous exercise for 24 hours and do not lie down flat for four hours.