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“You can get past the dead end. You can break through the ceiling. I did and so have countless others.”

Clinical Pearl Wednesday #194

Have a patient with TMJ? Botulinum toxin type A, commonly known as Botox, has been suggested as a potential treatment for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Here are some important considerations when it comes to using Botox for TMJ:

-Mechanism of action: Botox works by blocking the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that signals muscle contractions. In the context of TMJ, Botox is injected into the muscles responsible for jaw movement to temporarily paralyze them, which can help reduce pain and discomfort associated with TMJ.

-Effectiveness: Research on the effectiveness of Botox for TMJ is limited but promising. Some studies have suggested that Botox can reduce pain and improve jaw function in people with TMJ. However, the optimal dose, injection technique, and duration of effect are not yet well-established.

-Risks and side effects: Like any medical procedure, there are potential risks and side effects associated with Botox injections for TMJ. These can include bruising, swelling, pain, and infection at the injection site, as well as temporary weakness or paralysis of nearby muscles. There is also a risk of more serious side effects, such as difficulty swallowing or breathing, if the toxin spreads beyond the injection site.

-Considerations for candidacy: Botox injections for TMJ may not be appropriate for everyone. Botox may not be effective for all cases of TMJ, and other treatment options, such as physical therapy or surgery, may be more appropriate first line options first!

Botox injections may be a potential treatment option for TMJ, but it’s important to consider the potential risks and benefits and speak with your patient about them before performing this procedure. Other treatment options may be more appropriate for some cases of TMJ and are easily referenced. If you have experience with injecting Botox, then checkout this YouTube video on the procedure! and

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