Tenderness? Migraines? Jaw Pain? Botox for Fixing TMJ Symptoms!

If you enjoy chatting with friends, chewing your favorite foods, or smiling at loved ones, you can thank your temporomandibular joint or TMJ. All of these activities literally hinge on the TMJ, which is responsible for opening and closing the jaw. But for people with TMJ disorders, these everyday actions can be painful, sore, or downright impossible. 

But where some feel a problem, SMOMS Surgeon Dr. Meaghan Bradley sees a solution. “Oral surgery is all about solving a problem for a patient–whether that’s pain, a spatial problem, or form and function issues,” says Dr. Bradley. TMJ disorders hit all three of those problematic points, but Dr. Bradley is hitting back–with the help of a surprise sidekick: Botox! 

Botox, the well-known brand name in cosmetic injections, comes from the bacteria neurotoxin, clostridium botulinum. Used in microscopic doses in Botox, this neurotoxin effectively paralyzes and relaxes parts of muscle. When injected into the muscles around the jaw, this paralyzation and relaxation results in reduced pain for patients suffering from TMJ disorders.

TMJ disorders result in pain and soreness in the patient’s jaw. This pain reduces a patient’s jaw mobility and use–which only allows the pain to settle in and ultimately increase. This vicious cycle of pain and tension can spread, causing migraines, teeth clenching or grinding (bruxism), as well as pain in the patient’s neck and shoulders. An injection of Botox can break the cycle of pain, creating an opening for healing and relief. 

Dr. Bradley’s training gives her a precise and thorough knowledge of facial anatomy. From skin to bone, and everything in between, oral surgeons know faces inside and out. This makes oral surgeons a trustworthy source for any facial procedure. 

Although TMJ disorders can be treated with surgeries, Dr. Bradley is hesitant to jump straight to the scalpel. “There are steps for treating pain, and Botox is the last non-surgical step for patients,” Dr. Bradley explains, “it can give them their function back without surgery. In fact, around 95% of people with jaw pain don’t need surgery. These injections are great because we can keep people out of the operating room and relieve their symptoms with a minimally-invasive procedure!”

Like all first appointments at SMOMS, a patient can expect their first appointment with Dr. Bradley to be a consultation. At their consultation, the patient and Dr. Bradley will discuss and evaluate their unique case and symptoms, and create a treatment plan that fits them. If injections are part of that treatment plan, the injection appointment will be scheduled and completed by Dr. Bradley at one of SMOMS’ state-of-the-art offices. Patients can feel confident about having their Botox injections in a certified and surgically-cleaned medical facility! An added bonus is that injection appointments don’t take long–only about 30 minutes! 

If you or a loved one suffers from TMJ disorders, bruxism, or chronic migraines, call Southern Maine Oral Surgery at 207-774-2611 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Bradley and break the cycle of pain!

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