How Well Does Botox Work For TMJ Pain?

Q: Hi Dr. Eppley I’ve been suffering with TMJ pain for a long time. And I’d like to know how well does Botox work for TMJ and also do you use Xeomin as well for TMJ?

A:  Thank you for your inquiry. Botox is an anti-muscle spasm/pain injectable drug so it is good for masseteric muscle pain and hypertrophy but not specifically true TMJ dysfunction. Although many people think that they have ‘TMJ’, they actually do not have a true intracapsular joint problem which is a dysfunction between their condylar head and the moveable meniscus. (disc) Rather most ‘TMJ’ patients actually have myofascial pain (muscle pain) which may or may not be responsive to Botox. I would need to know more about your ‘TMJ history’ to determine if this is a treatment option for you. Knowing if you have specific trigger points for your pain would suggest that Botox injections could be beneficial.

Xeomin is the second competitive drug to Botox that has come out in the past two years. I do not currently use it as it does not offer any significant clinical advantages over Botox such as longer duration of action or a stronger effect. It works identical to Botox other than how its units are measured. One has to be very careful in trying to compare Botox, Dysport and Xeomin as they all have different unit dosages. Their units are not comparable terms of strength and price. Usually the unit dosing is different but the cost works out to be about the same, or very similar, for all of them.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana