TMJ Injections

If TMJ syndrome is causing you chronic facial pain, there are treatments available to give you some relief.

At Virgin Island Neurology, we provide cutting-edge, innovative treatments for TMJ disorders. If you would like relief from a TMJ disorder, an injection may help. Schedule an appointment with one of our experts at our U.S. Virgin Islands office today!

A woman receiving a TMJ injection at Virgin Islands Neurology.

Temporomandibular Joint Injections

Temporomandibular injections are an effective method of managing the pain and discomfort associated with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. This procedure involves injecting a combination of medications directly into the joint to reduce inflammation, alleviate muscle spasms, and decrease chronic pain in the jaw area.

A woman relieved after receiving TMJ injections in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Types of Injections Used to Treat TMJ Disorders

Different types of medication can be used for these injections, depending on the severity of your condition. These TMJ injection treatments can include the following:

Trigger Point Injections

Trigger point injections commonly involve injections of local anesthetic with or without a corticosteroid or Botulinum toxin. Additionally, they can be administered without any injection substance—this is called dry needling.

Within your face, you have tender muscles (called “trigger points”). Overuse from jaw clenching and/or teeth grinding can cause these muscles to become tense and inflamed.

During a trigger point injection, pain medication or an anesthetic is injected into the trigger points of your face to relieve pain. These injections can also help soothe the pain caused by TMJ disorders and myofascial pain syndrome.

For some, after one injection session, their pain does not return. For others, follow-up treatment may be required if your pain returns.

Botulinum Toxin (Botox®) Injections

Botox injections are an effective way to alleviate some of the muscular symptoms associated with temporomandibular disorders. Botox injections can alleviate jaw tension and eliminate headaches caused by bruxism (teeth grinding). These injections can also help treat severe cases of lockjaw.

The effects of Botox jaw pain relief vary from person to person. It is important to note that Botox treatment may not address the root cause of your temporomandibular joint disorder. The number and placement of Botox injections will be dictated by the severity of your condition. Be sure to avoid touching, rubbing, or massaging your injection sites.

For more long-term relief, your specialist may recommend another treatment, such as a night guard or physical therapy. In some cases, TMJ surgery may be required to provide relief and improve the function of your jaw.

How Are TMJ Injections Administered?

Both trigger point injections and Botox injections are performed on an outpatient basis, meaning that shortly after your procedure is complete, you will be able to return home.

During a trigger point injection procedure, you can expect the following:

  1. The injection site will be thoroughly cleansed.
  2. Once your specialist has pinpointed the trigger point, they will firmly grasp the area with their fingers to stabilize the tissue.
  3. Then, a thin needle attached to a syringe is inserted into and out of the targeted region in a rhythmic pattern without fully removing it from either muscle or skin tissue.
  4. At this point, you may feel your muscle spasm or twitch. Your specialist will continue this rhythmic pattern until your muscle is relaxed or the twitching has stopped.
  5. Then, the local anesthetic with or without corticosteroid or botulinum toxin will be injected into the area.
  6. Once complete, you will be able to return home.

During a Botox injection, you can expect the following:

  1. The injection site will be thoroughly cleansed.
  2. Your specialist will decide the number of injections that you need and will inject Botox into your muscles. You may feel slight pain, so your specialist may use a numbing cream or cold pack to ease your pain.
  3. Once your procedure is complete, you will be able to go home.

Benefits of TMJ Injections

Trigger point injections are generally safe and can provide relief for TMJ-related pain if you have not been able to find relief after using more conservative treatments. Trigger point injections can also provide significant improvement in your range of motion and the way your muscles function.

Botox injections have been shown to be a relatively safe and effective treatment for TMJ disorders. However, more research is needed to determine the full range of benefits of these injections.

Side Effects of Trigger Point Injections

Trigger point injections are considered a generally safe, low-risk procedure with minimal chances of complications. The most common side effects include:

  • Temporary discomfort around the injection site
  • Numbness around the injection site

While rare, additional side effects may include:

  • Bruising
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction to the anesthetic

Possible side effects from botulinum toxin injections include:

Before recommending these injections, your specialist will thoroughly review your medical history to see which injection would best suit your needs. Injections can help ease chronic TMJ pain and myofascial pain.

If you have unrelenting TMJ pain, injection treatments may be the solution for you! Schedule an appointment with one of our Virgin Islands Neurology specialists today! For your convenience, we are located in the U.S. Virgin Islands and look forward to providing the relief you deserve.