Botox For TMJ


20 Units

Botox For TMJ


30 Units

Botox For TMJ Bellevue & Kirkland

Botox—while most commonly associated with cosmetic treatments—it also has several medical uses. The injections help with disorders associated with the muscles or dysfunction of the muscles such as strabismus, cervical dystonia, and upper limb spasticity. The FDA is likely to approve more medical uses for Botox in the coming years. A well known medical use of Botox is for temporomandibular joint dysfunction. The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery offers the best Botox for TMJ Bellevue and Kirkland provides.

Overview: What Are TMJ Disorders?

Temporomandibular joint disorders refer to a few different types of dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint. This joint is the one that connects your jaw to the skull. It is a unique joint because it is both a hinge joint and a sliding joint. This dual movement is rare for joints in the body. 

The temporomandibular joint is important for everyday life because it aids in everyday jaw movements for eating, talking, and expression. Thus, when that becomes hindered by pain or the jaw movement itself becomes difficult, this can make any TMJ disorder extremely painful and hard to live with. 

Some of these disorders may be individually classified, but when a cause is not readily known, or a patient fits a certain symptom profile, they will often get the broader diagnosis of TMD or temporomandibular joint dysfunction.


TMJ disorders can have several symptoms that vary widely between patients. However, most patients will experience some sort of pain. Symptoms of TMJ disorders include:

  • Jaw pain and tenderness
  • Temporal pain
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Clicking sound when moving the jaw
  • Jaw locking
  • Jaw stiffness
  • Aching face pain
  • Ear pain
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ear
  • Neck pain

As previously mentioned, symptoms and their severity range between patients. Some may present with fewer or less intense symptoms while others may have nearly debilitating pain and symptoms. Botox may help anyone with TMJ disorders, but is often recommended to those who have not seen significant improvement from more conservative treatments.


The causes of TMJ disorders are not always clear. The most obvious causes are if there is trauma or an injury to the jaw or joint itself. TMJ disorders do tend to be more common in women, but studies continue into whether the slight anatomical differences contribute or not. Overall, it is theorized that it is a combination of genetics and stress are two of the biggest factors. Frequent gum chewing or teeth grinding are also thought to contribute.

When treating TMJ disorders, the causes are considered, such as if a patient has evidence of teeth grinding. However, the reasons someone is experiencing the symptoms do not always matter when seeking Botox treatment for TMJ. Botox helps limit unnecessary movements of the related muscles which can reduce overall pain.

Botox Injections For TMJ Disorders

Botox injections are usually not the first line of treatment for people suffering from symptoms of TMJ disorders. Patients will often try more conservative treatments which could include:

  • Wearing a mouthguard at night
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Eating foods that require little chewing
  • Reduce gum chewing and jaw clenching
  • Perform certain exercises or physical therapies
  • Practice stress management and reduction techniques
  • Acupuncture

When these less invasive techniques fail to provide significant relief from symptoms, Botox may be the next treatment considered. Occasionally in severe and extreme cases, Botox is sometimes recommended for relieving TMJ sooner than later.

How Botox Works

Botox is part of a class of substances known as neurotoxins. The medication derives from a protein of Botulinum toxin. When administered in small doses like Botox, it can cause localized relaxation of muscles. People with TMJ disorders often have overactive masseter and temporal muscles. It can also generally limit the movements of the muscles to necessary daily movements which can help reduce pain and jaw locking.

One notable aspect of Botox treatment for painful conditions such as migraines and TMJ is that it may not completely take away symptoms, especially at first. You may still experience symptoms, but they hopefully will become less severe and frequent. With continued treatment, Botox may become more effective with future treatments.

Over time, the Botox treatments thin and weaken the treated muscles. Thus, this can reduce TMJ symptoms, especially if caused by teeth grinding or overuse of the muscles. Weakening the muscle can also generally offer less TMJ pain overall while likely maintaining completely natural motion.

Injection Points

Masseter Botox can help slim the face in patients with an overgrown masseter muscle which can cause a wide-looking face. In the case of TMJ treatment, the masseter muscle is also injected. However, the injection points tend to be slightly different. Though, they tend to follow points along the sides of the head. During treatment, your injector will ask you to clench your jaw muscles so they can observe where the movement is occurring. 

The temporal muscle—which is the muscle situated above the temporomandibular joint—is often treated as well. Your injector will again ask you to clench your jaw and inject based on the movement of your muscles. 

For some, this may conclude their injection sites. However, if a patient also suffers from headaches or neck pain, their provider may inject the frontalis muscle and other muscles associated with Botox for migraines treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Botox For TMJ Be Covered By Insurance?

Unfortunately, Botox for the treatment of TMJ disorders is not typically covered by insurance companies. There are multiple reasons for this, but some patients may seek insurance coverage if also receiving Botox for migraines.

The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery does not work with surgery for non-surgical, non-transgender procedures. We do accept outside financing from companies including Care Credit. You can find more information about the companies we accept on our financing page. We do also work with Allē rewards.

Does It Change My Face Shape?

It can, though, it is not guaranteed. Injecting Botox into the masseter muscle can slim the face. If it changes your face shape at all, it will only be a slight slimming effect. However, many patients consider this a benefit. Also, as previously discussed, the injection points are slightly different when injecting the masseter muscle to slim the face. Though, the slimming effect can still occur.

How Long Does It Take Botox To Work For TMJD?

Botox usually shows an improvement in TMJ disorder symptoms in about one week. Some patients notice changes in their symptoms the next day. However, Botox takes time to fully settle into the muscle. Injectors generally advise patients to wait two weeks before judging the overall efficacy of the Botox injections for their TMJ symptoms.

Does Botox In The Jaw Hurt?

Botox injections use a tiny needle. Therefore, most patients feel little to no pain during Botox injections anywhere on the face. Our injectors do offer numbing cream and can use a vibration device that distracts the brain from the injections. Patients usually remain perfectly comfortable during TMJ Botox injections.

Following the injections, you may experience some minor soreness or stiffness. This is generally manageable with Tylenol and time. If you experience any soreness or stiffness, it should subside within a couple of days. Occasionally, your injector may recommend icing the area if the pain or swelling becomes bothersome.

Are There Side Effects Or Risks?

Botox can cause some mild side effects. Not everyone will experience these or severe side effects, but the side effects should subside in one to two weeks at most. Some of the possible side effects include:

  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Soreness
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Swelling
  • Headaches

Botox injections have few risks. Though certain patients may not be ideal candidates. However, most patients have little risk. Some of the possible risks include:

  • Infection
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Prolonged or severe side effects
  • Allergic reactions (rare)
  • Crooked smile
  • Unwanted or unexpected muscle weakness

Your injector will discuss the risks and benefits of Botox injections for TMJ. For patients with severe TMJ, the possible benefits often outweigh the risks. Botox is one of the most studied cosmetic injections and millions of people receive injections every year. 

Few patients experience adverse effects and there are other options such as Dysport which provide the same effects with slightly different formulas. Some people may respond to one better than the other.

The Best Botox For TMJ Dysfunction In Bellevue & Kirkland

Treating a TMJ disorder can be frustrating and painful. The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery aims to help make the process as painless as possible. Our injectors have undergone rigorous training underneath Dr. Craig Jonov and our plastic surgeons to hone the optimal techniques for both cosmetic and medical Botox injections. The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery provides the best Botox for TMJ Bellevue and Kirkland offers.

The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery upkeeps a warm and welcoming environment. You can enjoy hot coffee, tea, water, and cookies in our lobby. With on-site parking and a private suite, The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery places your safety and comfort first. Located just off I-405, the office is easily accessible from Bellevue, Kirkland, and Seattle.

To learn more or schedule a consultation, call us at 425-775-3561. You can also contact us online via chat, contact form, or the Price Simulator app.