TMJ Disorder Treatment at Strathcona Dental Clinic in Edmonton
Your mouth is an important part of the body, allowing you to perform such functions as eating and speaking. It is able to do these jobs thanks to the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. The TMJ is the “hinge” that connects your lower jaw to your skull. It is responsible for the opening and closing of your mouth, as well as moving your lower jaw from side to side. The bones that form this hinge are covered in cartilage, which surround a disc. This disc acts as a shock absorber of sorts, absorbing the impact from daily use. As with any other joint, the TMJ works well most of the time. However, there are occasional instances in which problems occur, which not only cause severe pain, but can also affect your overall health as well.
Causes of TMD
When there is an issue with your TMJ, it causes a condition known as temporomandibular disorder, or TMD. The exact cause of TMD can be difficult to pinpoint. However, there are certain factors that lead to it, including:
- Bruxism, or the grinding and clenching of your teeth.
- Facial trauma.
- Misaligned teeth or jaw.
- Poor dental work.
- Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Symptoms of TMD
TMD is almost never noticed immediately. This is because the symptoms come on gradually. In some instances, you might not even know that something is wrong with your TMJ, because the symptoms make you think that it’s an entirely different issue. Common symptoms of TMD include:
- Jaw pain.
- Facial pain.
- Difficulty opening and closing your mouth. Your jaw may even lock, preventing any motion at all.
- Pain while eating.
- Popping, clicking or a grinding sensation when you move your jaw.
- Headaches or earaches.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of TMD, it is important for you make an appointment with the Strathcona Dental Clinic. We will perform a complete, comprehensive evaluation – checking the alignment and condition of your teeth, watching how you bite, and checking for areas of tenderness. If necessary, we will also perform X-rays or an CBCT scan, which allow us to examine your facial bones and muscles.
If TMD is discovered to be your issue, your team of Strathcona Dental Clinic experts will design a tailored treatment plan. There are several types of treatment options for TMD, all of which are designed to help relieve the pain and damage associated with TMD. We will discuss your options with you and help you choose the best course of action based on the determined cause of your TMJ trouble. You may be prescribed a night mouth guard or splint if you suffer from bruxism. Your teeth may need to be realigned. Another option offered by the Strathcona Dental Clinic is Botox.
What is Botox
When you think of Botox, you probably think of its uses in the field of cosmetic surgery. Botox (botulinum toxins), which refers to an injection that relaxes muscles, is commonly used for lessening wrinkles and restoring a more youthful appearance. It can, however, also be used in a therapeutic way to treat TMD.
How Botox Works
Botox is a nonsurgical approach used to treat TMD, or, more specifically, the grinding and clenching (bruxism) that leads to TMD. Clenching and grinding is commonly caused by stress, although it can be the result of certain medications, smoking, alcohol or caffeine. It occurs when your muscles tighten. During the daytime, you can often catch yourself and relax your muscles. However, bruxism often takes place at night, when you have no control. Your TMJ undergoes unnecessary stress, and becomes irritated and inflamed, which leads to TMD.
Botox is a muscle relaxer. Your Strathcona Dental Clinic dentist administers a series of targeted injections, which weaken, or relax, the muscles that would otherwise cause clenching and grinding. As a result, you place less stress on your jaw and tension decreases. The injections can even lead to a significant decrease in symptoms.
Benefits of Botox for TMD
There are several benefits of using Botox to treat your TMD:
- Treatment is noninvasive and nonsurgical.
- Pain, and other TMD symptoms, decrease.
- There is no downtime involved with using Botox as a treatment.
- Injections don’t interfere with normal mouth functions, such as eating and talking.
- Results last several months and can even be permanent.
- Botox can also be used if you don’t have TMD, but you still clench and grind your teeth. This can put an end to other issues caused by bruxism, such as excessive wear on your teeth.
Clenching and grinding can often lead to a buildup of masseter muscle. For women, this can lead to a wider jawline and face. With Botox, the muscle mass may be able to be lessened, restoring a more feminine jawline.
At the Strathcona Dental Clinic, we have the experience and expertise to help you deal with your TMD. Botox can be a highly effective treatment that allows you to get back to your normal life. If you are experiencing jaw pain, accompanied by other symptoms of TMD, don’t hesitate. Contact Strathcona Dental Clinic for your comprehensive consultation today!
Strathcona Dental Clinic has the expertise you need when dealing with a TMJ disorder. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of TMD, contact us so we can perform a comprehensive evaluation and give you the help you need.
**If you're nervous about going to the dentist—new ways of doing things have made modern general dentistry more comfortable for patients, and talking to your dentist may reassure you and help you feel more relaxed. Ask us about Sedation Dentistry.