On a Watch What Happens Live episode, a caller asked Bethenny Frankel if she recently underwent plastic surgery because of the decreasing size of her chin. The outspoken 45-year-old Real Housewives of New York City star reported she did not have plastic surgery, but did have BOTOX® injected into her jaw to treat TMJ.
How BOTOX Helps
BOTOX is injected into the jawline at the point where the temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull. This area becomes inflamed and irritated in people who suffer from TMJ. When this area is irritated, it can cause a lot of pain. Treatments can include physical therapy, bite guards, or in Frankel’s case, an injection such as BOTOX.
The FDA has not approved BOTOX for TMJ, but it has been approved for TMJ-related conditions, such as migraines. Anytime someone is treated with BOTOX for TMJ, it is considered “off-label” use.
Studies have been conducted to understand the effects of BOTOX in people with TMJ. In one study, Dr. Susan Herring from the University of Washington in Seattle injected rabbits’ jaw muscles with the toxin.
Dr. Herring reported, “BOTOX in the masseter caused an osteoporotic condition in the TMJ of rabbits, raising some concern that this treatment might not be healthy for the joint in the long term.” While this is concerning, it is unclear if these results can be generalized to humans.
In another study by Dr. Karen Raphael at New York University, women who suffered TMJ were separated into two groups. One group received BOTOX injections in the chewing muscles, while the other group did not. In the group that received the injections, radiologists found abnormally low bone density in the treated area.
It’s obvious that more research needs to be conducted before the FDA will approve BOTOX for the treatment of TMJ.
Frankel reports the decreasing size of her jaw is related to the injections she received. This may be true considering the findings from the studies mentioned above. The problem is that without the injections she’s in pain, so she will need to seek alternative treatment options to alleviate the pain and discomfort.
BOTOX and TMJ – Speak to Your Doctor
The FDA does not approve the use of BOTOX for TMJ. If you are a TMJ sufferer, feel free to contact either our team or your physician for more information. We understand this condition is painful, and we want to help you improve the quality of your life by finding a treatment that is not only effective, but also safe.
Contact us today at 212-206-0023 in Manhattan or 631-499-1831 in Long Island. We are available for free consultations Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM and on Saturdays until 6:00 PM.