BOTOX for TMJ Disorder, Jaw Clenching, and Teeth Grinding

The same way BOTOX relaxes facial muscles to smooth lines and wrinkles, it can also relax facial muscles to ease the tension that causes TMJ disorder. We use BOTOX to treat TMD, tooth grinding, and jaw clenching.

TMJ disorder is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint in the jaw. This is the joint located on the sides of the jaw that helps control the opening and closing of your mouth, chewing, and more. It is a crucial joint and is constantly being used, but it is also the source of many issues.

Many individuals are not aware that they have a problem with their temporomandibular joint. They tend to ignore the clicking and popping or they believe that bruxism (teeth grinding) is normal. They may not recognize that clenching their teeth and experiencing painful headaches can be connected to TMJ disorder.

Symptoms of TMJ related facial pain include:

  • Pain and tenderness in the face, jaw, neck, temples and shoulders
  • Limited range of motion concerning the jaw
  • Feeling of jaw being stuck or locked in position
  • Clicking, popping sounds in the jaw when opening and closing
  • Tense muscles in the face and neck
  • Difficulty chewing or feeling teeth aren’t coming together properly

If night guards and splints are not effective, the next line of treatment for TMD traditionally involves surgery—replacement of the temporomandibular joint, arthrocentesis, or full mouth reconstruction. Before surgery is considered, though, it pays to explore other options. Massages and muscle-relaxing techniques can help loosen the tightness of a locking jaw or an overworked temporomandibular joint. Jaw exercises and physical therapy can also benefit those afflicted with TMJ. BOTOX gives us a more conservative, minimally invasive alternative to these surgical procedures. BOTOX is an outpatient procedure with little-to-no side effects. It’s done right in our dental office. The length of treatment depends on the number of injections needed as determined by the doctor. Still, it is reasonable for the treatment procedure to be completed within 10-30 minutes.

The Procedure

Botox® injections can be used to treat TMJ disorder. We offer a variety of facial pain treatments, including therapeutic Botox®, within the scope of dentistry.

Therapeutic Botox® helps keep the jaw muscles relaxed for up to three months after administration. Although it is not a cure for TMJ, it is a viable treatment option to help manage the pain. Patients treated with therapeutic Botox® report a decrease in headaches, teeth grinding, and facial pain.

The treatments will feel similar to a pinch. We will go over proper home care and after care methods with you to ensure the best possible outcome for your treatment.

You may experience soreness, redness, and some bruising at the injection sites after the procedure. These symptoms can be treated with cold compresses and over-the-counter pain relievers. Typically, patients experience improvement in their TMD symptoms within 7-10 days of their injections.

BOTOX is not a permanent solution for TMD. The effects of the injections will begin to wear off in about four months and then re-treatment is needed for continued symptom relief.


Does BOTOX help with clenching?

Yes, BOTOX is effective for relaxing your jaw muscles to prevent jaw clenching. If you suffer chronic headaches or migraines due to jaw clenching, BOTOX injections can often dramatically reduce the frequency and severity of your headaches.

How long does BOTOX for teeth grinding last?

BOTOX for teeth grinding usually lasts for three to four months, although this can vary from one patient to the next. 

Does BOTOX really work for TMJ?

Yes, BOTOX has proven to be one of the most effective treatment options for TMJ disorder. If you’ve suffered with chronic TMJ pain for months or even years, BOTOX is a great option for you!

When do you need BOTOX for TMJ?

BOTOX is usually recommended for TMJ if other treatment options haven’t provided relief. Usually we recommend trying self-managed care (warm compresses, soft food diets during flare-ups, etc.) and night guards before using BOTOX injections.

Is it safe to get BOTOX from a dentist?

Absolutely! Dentists have advanced training in facial anatomy and an in-depth understanding of the muscles in the face, which means they are highly qualified when it comes to administering BOTOX.

Is BOTOX for teeth grinding covered by insurance?

BOTOX for teeth grinding may be covered by medical insurance, but as of now is not covered by dental insurance. For many patients, BOTOX is worth the cost because of the relief it provides them, but if you’re concerned about the cost involved, we can work with you to try alternative solutions like a night guard.