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TMJ, Masseter muscle and Bruxism Botox treatments

When we started offering Botox for jaw treatments, we knew we’d be helping a lot of patients with TMJ soreness and pain feel better.

TMJ can be a frustrating condition, causing headaches and swollen, rock-hard jaw muscles.

One side may appear bigger than the other which can create uneven facial profile. However, Botox has been shown to provide some relief in this area by reducing the pain/soreness and creating more symmetry by reducing the size and hardness of the muscles. At Vita Surgical, we have the ability to help treat this condition to all of our patients.

With TMJ, you can feel intense pressure around your jawline, and this can lead to prolonged swelling, not to mention a more box/square facial profile. With Botox for TMJ, you can get a more softer jawline and feel relief from the pain and soreness involved with constantly tensed jaw muscles.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TJD) is the medical term used for bruxism or teeth grinding. The symptoms of teeth grinding or teeth clenching arise from how we handle feelings of stress in our everyday lives. Individuals who clench or grind their teeth during the day often do not notice that they are doing it. The habit is even more uncontrollable at night while sufferers are asleep and that is why patients wake up with sore and weak jaws.

Bruxism tends to run in families and is a very debilitating condition. The constant clenching and grinding can wear down teeth and can cause them to chip or break. When individuals clench or grind their teeth, they are flexing and contracting their masseter muscle, which is the main muscle used for chewing.

The over-contractions of the masseter muscle causes headaches, earaches, facial pain, and muscle growth. Sufferers of bruxism often notice that their jaws appear squarer and larger than before they started clenching or grinding. So how can Botox help treat TMJ?

Traditional treatments of bruxism include wearing a bite block or mouth guard at night to stop the teeth from contacting each other. However, many people find the bite blocks uncomfortable and end up spitting it out in their sleep. For those who manage to keep it in, they still awaken with jaw soreness.

This is because the bite block cannot prevent the clenching and grinding motion. It only acts as a barrier between your top and bottom rows of teeth. As such, people who invest in bite blocks often have to replace them every few months after they wear down the material from grinding. In addition, bite blocks can only be worn at night.

Daytime use would not be plausible or comfortable. Bruxism can also occur as a result of an unaligned bite. In these instances, jaw surgery is an option. However, jaw surgery is invasive and requires the realigning of the jaw and a long recovery process. Unless the misalignment and resultant bruxism is extremely severe, surgery is not an ideal treatment option.


At Vita Surgical, we have been injecting botox into the masseter muscle for over 18 + years and have performed several thousands and thousands of injections. Dr. Araya was one of the doctors in the Washington dc area who pioneered a revolutionary botox treatment before the fda approved it.

Dr. Araya has been successfully using Botox injections to calm the muscles for over 18 years. In the treatment of bruxism, Botox is injected into the masseter muscle to partially weaken it.

Chewing and smiling are not affected. The treatment alleviates the tension and stress on the muscle, thereby reducing pain. Over time, if the muscle stays weak, it shrinks in size and makes the jaw look less prominent.

Patients notice that as their jaw shrinks, they look younger because an oval shape to the face looks younger and softer than the square, angular shape conferred by a large masseters muscle.

Patients notice that as their jaw shrinks, they look younger because an oval shape to the face looks younger and softer than the square, angular shape conferred by a large masseters muscle.

During the Botox for TMJ procedure, Dr. Araya will place some ice along each side of your jaw to numb it, and proceed to administer the Botox injections into the masseter muscle. The procedure only takes about five minutes for each side. Most patients notice a reduction in muscle soreness the very next day. Treatments are progressive and typically last about three months. Keeping the muscle weak for a prolonged period of time makes it likely that patients will break the habit of grinding when they are stressed. Some patients only require a couple of treatments to completely break the cycle of bruxism and not need Botox treatments again.

Other patients need more treatments to break the cycle.

During an initial consultation, Dr. Araya will evaluate your individual needs and provide you with treatment options. Each individual case is unique and requires a customized dosage of Botox. Dr. Araya is experienced in determining the proper dosage necessary for each individual patient. Inappropriate dosage and location of injection by inexperienced practitioner can cause a mouth drop- condition that can last several weeks.

The cost starts at $199 and a free touch up is provided after two weeks if there is no improvement.

To find out if Botox injections are the best treatment option for TMJ, schedule an appointment for a free consultation. You do not have to suffer from bruxism any longer.

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