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Botox for TMJ Disorder Does Not Affect Jaw Bone Density

Low-dose botulinum toxin injections for jaw, facial pain not linked to short-term bone changes

woman with cheek pain

FRIDAY, Sept. 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Jaw bone density and volume are similar between women who had botulinum toxin (BTX) injections to treat temporomandibular muscle and joint disorders (TMJDs) and those who did not, according to a small study published online Sept. 3 in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation.

Karen G. Raphael, Ph.D., from the New York University College of Dentistry in New York City, and colleagues compared TMJ bone density and mandibular condylar volume between 35 patients with myofascial TMJD receiving multiple masticatory muscle BTX treatments and 44 similarly diagnosed women not receiving BTX.

The researchers found that the mean density of primary and secondary regions of interest was similar between exposure groups, as was condylar volume. An increasing dose of BTX to the temporalis muscle was inversely proportional to the density of the trabecular area of the mandible body. Many women treated in community-based practices received smaller doses of BTX to the masseter muscles than in most TMJD BTX clinical trials.

"Unless specialized imaging of muscle and bone are conducted among patients who receive BTX treatment over long periods, true cumulative adverse effects will remain unknown," the authors write.

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