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What to Expect After Botox For TMJ

Updated: Apr 26

After receiving TMJ botox injections, you can expect some mild discomfort, redness, swelling, bleeding and bruising which subsides over the next few hours. However, the most important thing to remember is to not rub your face for the rest of the day. Ultimately, you can expect to see results within the next 1-2 weeks.

Common after effects of TMJ botox treatment

Most of the immediate after effects from the TMJ botox are due to the needle penetrating the skin and the placement of the botox under the skin.

syringes needles saline for tmj botox

Why it happens:

  • Botox comes as dry crystal/powder in a vial which must be reconstituted with saline.

  • A small 30 gauge needle is used to deliver/administer the botox into the TMJ muscles.

  • Therefore a small amount of fluid is placed underneath the skin causing it to bulge and swell a little.

Side effects:

  • Mild discomfort. You may feel a small pinch as the needle penetrates the skin.

  • Redness. This is from the needle penetration and also mild capillaries popping.

  • Swelling. The botox placed underneath the skin will cause a small bulge.

  • Bleeding. There is often small specks of blood present at the injection site.

  • Bruising. Rare but it can happen to certain people especially if they're prone to it.

The good news is that most of these symptoms will subside and self-resolve over the next few hours. You will look the same as if nothing happened by the next morning.


Face rubbing is forbidden

Immediately after the botox injections, there should be no rubbing of the face whatsoever for the rest of the day. At a bare minimum, you should wait 3-4 hours before touching it if you can't hold off for the rest of the day.

4 boxes of 50cc botox

Consequence of face rubbing: After the botox is injected into the TMJ muscles, it remains as a small raised bump which slowly gets taken up by the surrounding neuromuscular junction.

  • If you rub the area, you risk pushing the botox into a different area or muscle and this may cause unintended side effects such as paralysis of the wrong muscle.

  • Your dentist painstakingly placed it in a very specific spot so please do not move it around!

Therefore, you should do your best to not touch your face at all at least for a few hours and ideally not until the next day if possible.

What about sleeping positions: It would be best if you can sleep on your back or at least try to. Once again, you should be mostly in the clear after 3-4 hours but it doesn't hurt to give it more time.


Results within 1-2 weeks

On average, most people can expect to feel the effects of botox for TMJ treatment within 1-2 weeks. It can vary from individual to individual but some people can feel it as quickly as 2-3 days after the injections.

However, the full effects typically takes about 4 weeks for it to peak and then from that point onwards, the botox effects will gradually dissipate over the next few months.

Below is a chart showing you the timeline of what to expect.

Average Onset

1-2 weeks

Quickest Onset

2-3 days

Peak Effects

4 weeks

Duration of Effects

3-6 months

How long the botox ultimately lasts can range from 3 to 6 months. Once again this depends on the individual and also how many units you're receiving for your treatment.



Immediately after the TMJ botox, you can expect some mild side effects due to the needle penetration and the botox placement into the muscle. The good news is that these effects are transient and will go away on their own within a few hours. After that it takes about 1-2 weeks on average for you to see its effects at least that is what we see at our dental practice.



David Chen 200 x 200.jpg

About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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