Botox for TMJ Dysfunction May Cause Bone Deterioration

October 12, 2020
Avatar for Kelley MingusKelley Mingus

When you suffer from temporomandibular joint dysfunction, you may find yourself feeling desperate to get the relief you want. Some people are willing to try anything to get that relief, even if that means trying things that aren’t adequately studied or proven safe and effective.

For temporomandibular joint dysfunction (or TMJ dysfunction for short) some people have gone as far as to receive Botox injections to the temporomandibular joint to find relief from this painful condition. But while we applaud their initiative for trying, we caution that this type of treatment is still not proven in the long term- and it’s not just us.

A recent study by the New York University School of Dentistry highlights just how uncertain doctors really are about the use of Botox to treat temporomandibular joint dysfunction pain.

Published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, the study followed 79 women who were given low-doses of Botox to treat their temporomandibular joint dysfunction. What they found was that despite whether the Botox worked to manage the TMJ dysfunction symptoms, it did not affect bone density or cause bone deterioration in small doses. Unfortunately for some, small doses may not be enough.

For those that require larger doses of Botox to find relief from their TMJ dysfunction symptoms, larger doses or more frequent Botox injections may be necessary. Unfortunately, according to the study, researchers have discovered that in larger doses, Botox may indeed cause bone deterioration in the jaw, something which, when compounded with the fact that the rubbing of the TMJ joint into the bone socket may already cause bone deterioration, is a major cause for concern. Bone deterioration may be irreversible, and in the long term can cause more pain and discomfort than the patient initially began with.

Thankfully, there are solutions available to get TMJ dysfunction sufferers the relief they want. Dr. Mingus offers several solutions to help with temporomandibular joint dysfunction pain. Solutions like custom orthotics, orthodontics, and physical therapy can all help to reduce temporomandibular joint dysfunction symptoms – without having to resort to off-label uses of potentially dangerous injectable cosmetics. To learn more, contact Dr. Mingus at 541-382-6565.