Relieve Jaw Pain caused by Temporomandibular Joint Disease (TMJ)
Temporomandibular Joint Disease (TMJ) is the new dental epidemic of the 21st century. The majority of American adults, and even many children, grind or clench their teeth.TMJ is notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat. Many of the related symptoms, such as headaches and earaches, often lead doctors to diagnose a sinus condition, as opposed to a problem with the jaw joint. The wait creates excessive wear and tear that not only affects the teeth, but many times does irreversible damage to the joints and muscles of the jaw. Many people experience side effects such as popping and soreness when chewing, lockjaw and chronic headaches.
TMJ symptoms often change in severity, depending on how much stress the sufferer is experiencing. During an intensely stressful period, grinding teeth, debilitating earaches and lockjaw may occur.
You can now minimize, or even eliminate these symptoms and protect yourself from further damage and pain. Let Dr. Smith aid you in creating a customized plan. For some, a simple mouthpiece worn while sleeping will protect the teeth and begin to deprogram the grinding habit. For others, combining a mouthpiece with Botox will help. Botox® injections are sometimes an effective and painless way to alleviate tension in the temporomandibular joint; reducing jaw pain, headaches and suffering. BOTOX injections can work as a muscle relaxer to prevent the serious clenching that can result in frequent headaches and jaw fatigue. Some clients benefit from regular head, neck and jaw massage to relieve sore muscles. For severe cases, a reconstruction of the worn-down dental enamel will achieve the best long-term results.
Botox® is commonly associated with cosmetic practices, for example, eliminating glabellar lines and facial wrinkles. Recently however, Botox® has become an increasingly popular TMJ treatment. Although some TMJ symptoms may improve without any specific treatment, Botox® offers fast and long-lasting relief for those that do not.
Whatever the level of discomfort you are experiencing, we can help you find a solution.
Botox ® treatments can be used to improve the following in TMJ sufferers:
How does Botox® work?
The temporomandibular joint is located on both sides of the head where the skull adjoins the jawbone. This joint is constantly being used for a variety of daily activities such as chewing, biting, speaking and swallowing. The most prominent causes of TMJ are jaw displacement and stress-related involuntary jaw movements. Botox® expediently alleviates temporomandibular tension by relaxing the jaw muscles. This means that in most cases, the unconscious jaw movements cease completely, and the grinding-related headaches are kept at bay.
One of the major advantages of Botox® is that normal functions such as speaking, swallowing and biting are left unaffected. The only major change is the reduction in pain and discomfort. In addition, controlling TMJ can also prevent serious dental problems from occurring later. TMJ, if left untreated, can contributeto worn-down dental enamel, gum disease and the loosening of teeth.
What’s involved when getting Botox® injections?
Prior to administering Botox® injections, the dentist needs to check the patient’s suitability for treatment. When used in conjunction with certain medications and substances, Botox® may not produce the desired results. It is exceptionally important therefore, to be honest about prior medical history. Botox® is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.
The Botox® injections take 10-20 minutes to administer, depending on the amount required. The Botox® procedure will be performed at the dental office. Driving ability will not be impaired by the treatment, so there is no need for a designated driver. The injections are no more painful than a bug bite or pinprick, but nitrous oxide (laughing gas) can be used to reduce anxiety if necessary.
Normal activity can be resumed immediately after the Botox® treatment, but strenuous activity should be avoided for 24 hours after treatment. It may take several days to feel the full benefits of the treatment, but Botox® will continue to work for up to 3 months.
If you have any questions or concerns about TMJ or the Botox® treatment, please contact our office.