TMJ (temporomandibular joint), or the jaw joint as we all know it, sometimes becomes problematic (like anything else in the body). Pain could be actually joint related (due to issues associated with the moving capsule in the joint) or muscle related (masseter or temporalis muslces for example). Often times it’s frequent in people who clench/grind (during the day or at night time), have sore muscles on their temples or the cheeks/sides of the face. get migraine headaches that may be associated with such activities.
In most of these cases, night guards are the go to appliance. There are different nightguards and designs of course for them that address various issues (different topic); but often times, it’s not the type of guard but the concept of wearing something at night (or during the day) that bothers the patients. Sometimes, it’s the opposite: patients wear the guards religiously but dislike the increasingly square shape of the face caused by hypertrophying (enlargement) of the masseter muscles (one of the muscles involved in chewing embedded in the cheeks. In either one of these cases, Botox treatment is a great one! Simple comfortable injections into these muscles, relaxes them, causing an inability to clench/grind, relaxes the face, slims down the muscle and by that the face (more oval shaped face consequently), reduces on the need for wearing the guard, and lessens/eliminates the pain!
The effects usually last for about 4-6 months depending on the prior activity level of the muscles and habits formed.