Get $25 Off On Subscription Orders!

{"id":556093734985,"title":"Botox For TMJ: Does It Work?","created_at":"2021-12-30T01:48:28-05:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Botox For TMJ: Does It Work?\",\n \"keywords\": \"botox for tmj\",\n \"description\": \"Our MD and research team reviews the medical research on botox for TMJ to determine if it’s likely to be effective or if it's a waste of money. We also highlight some natural treatment options for TMJ which we believe may be more effective and safer.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/botox-for-tmj\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Taylor Graber MD\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/taylor-graber\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/taylor-j-graber-md-81351642\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Content Partner\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"medicine, health, anesthesiology, iv therapy, science, drugs, pharmaceutical, medical research, scientific research, medical journals, entrepreneurship, healthcare, orthopedic surgery, biomedical engineering\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"University of California San Diego\",\n \"Arizona University\",\n \"University of Arizona College of Medicine\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"contributor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"DJ Mazzoni\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": [\n \"M.S.\",\n \"R.D.\",\n \"C.D.N.\",\n \"C.S.C.S.\"\n ],\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/dj-mazzoni\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/dj-mazzoni-rd-cdn-cscs-00a33038\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Medical Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"exercise, drugs, pharmaceutical, health, workout, strength and conditioning, nutrition, dietetics, medicine, medical research, scientific research, scientific method, healthcare, patient care, wellness\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"State University of New York College Oswego\",\n \"D’Youville College\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Botox_For_TMJ_Thumbnail.jpg?v=1642222333\",\n\"width\": \"3630\",\n\"height\": \"3630\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/books\/NBK562946\/\", \n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30807862\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31076698\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC4706597\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/sauna-benefits\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5971344\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/flo-gummies-review\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/16479756\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/20401354\/\"\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2021-12-30\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Logo.png?v=1641249064\", \n \"width\": 150,\n \"height\": 150\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"Address\": {\n \"@type\": \"PostalAddress\",\n \"streetAddress\": \"50 Union Street, Unit 9\",\n \"addressLocality\": \"Northampton\",\n \"addressRegion\": \"Massachusetts\",\n \"postalCode\": \"01060\",\n \"addressCountry\": \"US\"\n},\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Botox_For_TMJ_Article_Header_Image.png?v=1640847237\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eB\u003c\/span\u003eotox, which is short for botulinum toxin, is typically used for aesthetic effect. Clinics offer injections of botox to treat wrinkles.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eRecently more clinics have begun offering botox treatments for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, which can cause chronic pain around the jaw and cheekbone.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll review the medical research on botox for TMJ to determine if it’s likely to be effective or if it's a waste of money.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eMedical Review\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThere’s a significant amount of medical research testing the effectiveness of botox for treating TMJ. A 2020 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/books\/NBK562946\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health examined the research on botox for TMJ.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe results were relatively negative. The study authors concluded that “None of the included systematic reviews expressed confidence in the efficacy of botulinum toxin for treating TMD.” \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSome of the reviewed studies did contain positive results, but the researchers noted that there were so many different techniques and treatment approaches used that it was hard to come to a final conclusion. This field of study needs to become more standardized before researchers can recommend it as a treatment.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30807862\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003edifferent study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e on the topic found an interesting result. The researchers of this second study concluded that botox may be useful for patients who don’t respond to standard first-line TMJ treatments such as physical therapy and splint therapy. In patients who didn’t respond to standard TMJ treatments, subsequent botox treatments led to a statistically significant improvement in pain scores on average.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAnother \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31076698\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the British Dentists Journal concluded that botox should be considered as a last-resort treatment option for TMJ, but due to the cost considerations and potential side effects, all safer options should be exhausted first.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis review mirrors the results from the second-linked study, which suggested that botox should only be recommended in a worst-case scenario.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBased on the available research, we can conclude that botox \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emay\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e be effective for treating TMJ, but shouldn’t be considered as a first option because it’s no more effective than more natural options like physical therapy on average, and the application process is not standardized in the medical community for treating TMJ.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eNatural Alternatives\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAs referenced above, there are several natural alternatives which may be superior to botox for treating TMJ, and significantly cheaper. We recommend that all patients speak with their doctor prior to starting a TMJ treatment, and the below information isn’t medical advice but rather a summary of research.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch3\u003e\u003cb\u003ePhysical Therapy\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h3\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC4706597\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ethorough review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e on physical therapy for treating TMJ found it to be generally effective. The researchers reviewed various types of therapies such as jaw exercise, posture correction exercise and manual therapy. All therapies were found to reduce TMJ pain on average, with negligible side effects.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe benefit of physical therapy, compared with botox, is that there is essentially no risk. It’s simply a targeted form of exercise. Most doctors will refer a patient to a physical therapist if needed, so it may be worthwhile for patients suffering from TMJ to speak with their doctor about setting up an appointment with a physical therapist.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch3\u003e\u003cb\u003eRed Light Therapy\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h3\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn our \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/sauna-benefits\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003einfrared sauna review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e article, we highlighted the significant therapeutic potential of red light therapy. This treatment works because low wavelengths of red light can actually penetrate the skin barrier and directly influence metabolism.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIt turns out that there is research proving that red light therapy is effective for TMJ. An \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5971344\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eextensive review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the Pain Research and Management journal surveyed 31 individual clinical trials on red light therapy for TMJ.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe study authors found that red light therapy effectively relieves pain and improves functional outcomes in patients suffering from TMJ. Like physical therapy, red light therapy has very low risk when set up properly with the help of a trained physician.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch3\u003e\u003cb\u003eCognitive Behavioral Therapy\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h3\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis discipline of therapy involves training patients to critically examine negative thoughts or feelings and change behavior patterns to optimize overall wellness. It was shown to be effective for managing PMS symptoms as we recently covered in our \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/flo-gummies-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFlo Gummies review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, and it’s been shown in medical studies to treat TMJ as well.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/16479756\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emeta-review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e from 2006 found that cognitive behavioral therapy caused negative TMJ symptoms to disappear entirely or improve in 112 out of 136 patients. The effects were seen after two months.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/20401354\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emore recent review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, published in The Journal of Oral \u0026amp; Facial Pain and Headache, concluded similar. Researchers found that cognitive behavioral therapy improved outcomes for patients with TMJ.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWhen a therapy session is booked for treating a physical condition, it tends to be more likely to be covered by medical insurance than for mental health disorders. So we recommend that patients consult with their doctor before directly booking a cognitive behavioral therapy session, as the referral may help them save money and get the visit covered by insurance.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBotox for TMJ may be effective, but there is not enough research to say that it conclusively works. Trials performed using botox to treat TMJ had inconsistent results, and used a wide variety of different methods which makes it hard to recommend a specific treatment.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAs more research comes out, we hope that there emerges a standardized and effective method of leveraging botox for TMJ. We do believe it’s worth speaking with your doctor and considering botox for TMJ if you’re a patient who’s tried various other options, as the research showed botox to be effective on average in patients that didn’t see results from standard treatments.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOverall, we believe that natural treatments like physical therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are safer and just as likely, if not more likely, to be effective for treating TMJ than botox based on a review of medical research. We would recommend that patients speak with their doctor about these options first, as they tend to be cheaper and carry less risk of severe side effects.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2021-12-30T12:00:07-05:00","updated_at":"2022-08-18T20:04:43-04:00","summary_html":"We review the medical research on botox for TMJ to determine if it’s likely to be effective or if it's a waste of money. We also highlight some natural treatment options for TMJ which we believe may be more effective and safer.","template_suffix":"","handle":"botox-for-tmj","tags":"_related:pain-relief"}

Botox For TMJ: Does It Work?

Botox For TMJ: Does It Work?


| |
Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.
| |
Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.


Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Botox, which is short for botulinum toxin, is typically used for aesthetic effect. Clinics offer injections of botox to treat wrinkles.

Recently more clinics have begun offering botox treatments for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, which can cause chronic pain around the jaw and cheekbone.

In this article we’ll review the medical research on botox for TMJ to determine if it’s likely to be effective or if it's a waste of money.

Medical Review

There’s a significant amount of medical research testing the effectiveness of botox for treating TMJ. A 2020 medical review published by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health examined the research on botox for TMJ.

The results were relatively negative. The study authors concluded that “None of the included systematic reviews expressed confidence in the efficacy of botulinum toxin for treating TMD.” 

Some of the reviewed studies did contain positive results, but the researchers noted that there were so many different techniques and treatment approaches used that it was hard to come to a final conclusion. This field of study needs to become more standardized before researchers can recommend it as a treatment.

A different study on the topic found an interesting result. The researchers of this second study concluded that botox may be useful for patients who don’t respond to standard first-line TMJ treatments such as physical therapy and splint therapy. In patients who didn’t respond to standard TMJ treatments, subsequent botox treatments led to a statistically significant improvement in pain scores on average.

Another medical review published in the British Dentists Journal concluded that botox should be considered as a last-resort treatment option for TMJ, but due to the cost considerations and potential side effects, all safer options should be exhausted first.

This review mirrors the results from the second-linked study, which suggested that botox should only be recommended in a worst-case scenario.

Based on the available research, we can conclude that botox may be effective for treating TMJ, but shouldn’t be considered as a first option because it’s no more effective than more natural options like physical therapy on average, and the application process is not standardized in the medical community for treating TMJ.

Natural Alternatives

As referenced above, there are several natural alternatives which may be superior to botox for treating TMJ, and significantly cheaper. We recommend that all patients speak with their doctor prior to starting a TMJ treatment, and the below information isn’t medical advice but rather a summary of research.

Physical Therapy

A thorough review on physical therapy for treating TMJ found it to be generally effective. The researchers reviewed various types of therapies such as jaw exercise, posture correction exercise and manual therapy. All therapies were found to reduce TMJ pain on average, with negligible side effects.

The benefit of physical therapy, compared with botox, is that there is essentially no risk. It’s simply a targeted form of exercise. Most doctors will refer a patient to a physical therapist if needed, so it may be worthwhile for patients suffering from TMJ to speak with their doctor about setting up an appointment with a physical therapist.

Red Light Therapy

In our infrared sauna review article, we highlighted the significant therapeutic potential of red light therapy. This treatment works because low wavelengths of red light can actually penetrate the skin barrier and directly influence metabolism.

It turns out that there is research proving that red light therapy is effective for TMJ. An extensive review published in the Pain Research and Management journal surveyed 31 individual clinical trials on red light therapy for TMJ.

The study authors found that red light therapy effectively relieves pain and improves functional outcomes in patients suffering from TMJ. Like physical therapy, red light therapy has very low risk when set up properly with the help of a trained physician.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This discipline of therapy involves training patients to critically examine negative thoughts or feelings and change behavior patterns to optimize overall wellness. It was shown to be effective for managing PMS symptoms as we recently covered in our Flo Gummies review, and it’s been shown in medical studies to treat TMJ as well.

A meta-review from 2006 found that cognitive behavioral therapy caused negative TMJ symptoms to disappear entirely or improve in 112 out of 136 patients. The effects were seen after two months.

A more recent review, published in The Journal of Oral & Facial Pain and Headache, concluded similar. Researchers found that cognitive behavioral therapy improved outcomes for patients with TMJ.

When a therapy session is booked for treating a physical condition, it tends to be more likely to be covered by medical insurance than for mental health disorders. So we recommend that patients consult with their doctor before directly booking a cognitive behavioral therapy session, as the referral may help them save money and get the visit covered by insurance.

Get our most popular articles straight to your inbox
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Botox for TMJ may be effective, but there is not enough research to say that it conclusively works. Trials performed using botox to treat TMJ had inconsistent results, and used a wide variety of different methods which makes it hard to recommend a specific treatment.

As more research comes out, we hope that there emerges a standardized and effective method of leveraging botox for TMJ. We do believe it’s worth speaking with your doctor and considering botox for TMJ if you’re a patient who’s tried various other options, as the research showed botox to be effective on average in patients that didn’t see results from standard treatments.

Overall, we believe that natural treatments like physical therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are safer and just as likely, if not more likely, to be effective for treating TMJ than botox based on a review of medical research. We would recommend that patients speak with their doctor about these options first, as they tend to be cheaper and carry less risk of severe side effects.





Liquid error: Could not find asset snippets/search-bar.liquid