I have TMJ pretty bad. I grind my teeth too. My sister told me that I can get Botox for TMJ. Is this true? Will Botox really help me get rid of TMJ? – Dominic

Dominic – Botox® is used to treat TMJ jaw tension, headaches, and the facial pain and soreness associated with TMJ. Botox treatment prevents your muscles from making painful movements that are aggravated by TMJ. It does not cure TMJ or help you get rid of it.

Injections are completed in an average of 15 minutes. Numbness or redness around the injection sites is normal and gradually goes away in a day or two. The effects of the injections last about six months, after which treatment has to be repeated.

If you grind your teeth, damage is being done to your teeth. In addition to wearing your teeth down, grinding your teeth, or bruxism, can cause your teeth to bulge and shift. Your teeth need protection from grinding, and a night guard can help.

A customized night guard from a dentist who is trained in TMJ diagnosis and treatment will protect your teeth. While you wear a night guard, it separates your teeth and prevents them from clenching. Your attempts to grind your teeth will bite into the night guard, which is not a comfortable feeling, and will prevent further damage while wearing the guard.

Although an oral appliance won’t cure your TMJ, it will reduce the force and tension placed on your teeth, jaw, and facial muscles that result from bruxism. Customized appliances from a dentist are based on impressions of your teeth. They produce much better results than over-the-counter products.

If you choose Botox treatment, we recommend that you still receive an examination of your teeth, bite, and jaw muscles to determine the extent of your TMJ disorder and the best way to treat the cause of your TMJ.

This post is sponsored by Colorado Springs dentist Dr. Joseph Rota.