Are Botox Injections Effective to Treat TMJ Syndrome?

I am 27 years old. I developed TMJ Syndrome this year because of the massive amounts of stress in my work and personal life. I do things to various activities to attempt to relieve stress i.e. exercise & etc. However nothing is working I have to take flexeril to make me stop clenching my jaw. Would something like this be a good idea for me to avoid the over usage of Flexeril and motrin 800's?Will it change the appearance of my face?

Doctor Answers 9

Is Botox effective for TMJ?

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As an off-label use of BOTOX, the masseter muscle can be injected which may lead to a lessening of the symptoms associated with TMJ.  And although this is not a permanent fix, it may be very helpful in conjunction with the medications you are currently taking and potentially could allow you to reduce your dependence on some of these meds.

I hope that helps!

Botox and TMJ

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The key with TMJ is proper diagnosis of the cause of stress on the TMJ joint.  Masseter hypertrophy is a common source of excessive stress on the joint.  Botox can lessen the force that this muscle exerts on the joint and provide relief.  It is key that an experienced injector performs this as it requires extensive knowledge of facial anatomy.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 181 reviews

TMJ and Botox

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TMJ is dues to spasm of the masseter and temporalis muscle and may have some benefit but I would reserve that for the oral surgeons.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Masseter injections may help

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This is uncharted water, since it is not FDA approved. I do not do this for TMJ dystrophy because I use Botox only cosmetically, not medically, but patients report that their TMJ symptoms improve when the masseter is injected to make the jaw line look less square.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Will Botox for TMJ be Helpful?

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Hi Charlie.  Although the use of Botox for TMJ is not FDA approved, there are a lot of practices performing this procedure to offer relief for TMJ.  We use it more often to revise the shape of the jaw, especially in Asian women that want to have a more rounded appearance to the jawline.  

We believe it is a good option for you to consider if you do not want to take the medication or it is not working for you.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Botulinum toxin for TMJ syndrome

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IF the TMJ is associated with masseteric or temporalis muscle spasm, the off label use of botulinum toxin may provide some relief.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Botox for TMJ

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Hello and thank you for the question.

The use of Botox for TMJ treatment is considered  "off label", as Botox Cosmetic's only indication as deemed by the FDA is for management of glabellar furrows. However, there are a lot of physicians who are using chemodenervation products such as Botox to treat TMJ symptoms and are doing so with great success. I suggest if you do decide to pursue this treatment, find a board certified physician who is experienced with this sort of treatment and ask that all the risks and benefits be reviewed in detail so that you make a well informed decision prior to proceeding with treatment.


Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Botox used by an expert can treat TMJ as an off-label use

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There are many patients that have been helped significantly by this treatment. Botox injections for TMJ may be an off-label treatment but an expert, especially an ENT doctor or oral maxillofacial surgeon who has great experience in treatment of these muscles should be the doctors with whom you consult. The muscles need to be treated symmetrically so there is not a muscular unbalance that could exacerbate a malocclusion with biting. See the doctor in consultation to learn of the risks and benefits.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Botox for TMJ

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I, along with most cosmetic surgeons, do not use Botox for this purpose. There is potential for complications when treated in this area with Botox and I do not recommend it. It is also not FDA approved for this purpose. I am aware though that some oral surgeons are now offering this.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.