Muscle Relaxant Injections For Bruxism (Teeth Grinding) TMJ problems
The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) holds the jaw bone to the skull. It is composed of various muscles, tendons, and bones which function together and enable the upper jaw to close on the lower jaw. The TMJ is one of the most frequently used joints of the body, responsible for such functions as biting, chewing, talking, and yawning.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, commonly called TMJ or TMD occurs when there is a derangement in the normal functioning of the Temporomandibular Joint. Repetitive behaviors such as teeth grinding or clenching, gum chewing, fingernail biting, or stress lead to hypertrophy or enlargement of the masseter muscle which is the main muscle used for chewing. This muscle hypertrophy along with its repetitive spasms cause an acute or chronic inflammation of the joint resulting in TMJ. The disorder and resultant dysfunction results in significant pain and impairment for many people. TMJ symptoms include chronic headaches, earaches, facial pain, and damage to the tissue on the
inside of the mouth.
Treatment of TMJ
Traditional treatments for TMJ include the use of night guards - splints, removal of wisdom teeth, and chiropractic maneuvers. Recently, Muscle Relaxant Injection has been used for the treatment of TMJ with great results.
Treating TMJ With Muscle Relaxant Injections
Treatment of TMJ with Muscle Relaxant Injection is simple, safe, and does not involve any surgery. During the procedure, the masseter muscle is identified by having the patient contract the muscle in a clenching manner. Several tiny Muscle Relaxant Injections are then applied directly into the muscle. The Muscle Relaxant will then cause a relaxation of the muscle, weakening it but not fully paralysing it. You will still be able to speak and chew your food, however you will notice an absence of the spasms that occur with the clenching and grinding that were present prior to the treatment. Some patients may even notice a cosmetic difference, with their relaxed jaw line creating a more smooth and natural shape. Additional injections may be made in the temples and forehead depending on each individual’s symptoms. It is important to know that only the areas injected with Muscle Relaxant will be affected by the treatment. There will be no effect anywhere else in your body.
Muscle Relaxant Injections for TMJ typically takes between 10-20 minutes depending on the number of injections needed. This will vary for each individual. There is minimal pain associated with the injections.
Patients will begin to see results from their treatment with Muscle Relaxant Injections from 5-7 days after the procedure. The effects of treatment last for approximately 4 months. After 2-3 treatments with Muscle Relaxant Injections, the masseter muscle often begins to atrophy or shrink and many patients will lose the habit which accompanies the repetitive grinding or clenching. Therefore further treatment with Botox may not be required, and patients may continue to live their lives free from the chronic pain caused by their TMJ.
Is Muscle Relaxant Injection for TMJ Safe?
The use of Muscle Relaxant Injection is extremely safe, however as with any medical procedure there are possible risks and side effects to be aware of when using Muscle Relaxant Injection for TMJ treatment. There may be mild temporary bruising or redness around the injection sites. The risks and possible complications are infrequent, minimal and temporary. Muscle Relaxant injection treatments should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation.
It is important that you choose a health professional who is experienced in giving Muscle Relaxant Injection. During your initial consultation, our clinician will evaluate your symptoms and the impairment they cause on your activities of daily living and explain your treatment options to you in detail. Then the injection sites and amount of units will be determined. You will return to the office 1-2 weeks after your procedure for a follow-up appointment, at which time additional injections may be required to achieve an optimal result.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.