The temporomandibular joint controls the movement of the jaw including sliding back and forth and opening and closing. It’s located where your jawbone meets the skull on both sides of your head. In some people, the joint becomes overworked or stressed, which can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD for short.
Although the cause of TMD is not always known, clenching or grinding your teeth while you sleep is considered a risk factor for the condition. If you suffer from TMD, it can cause a variety of symptoms including facial pain, difficulty chewing, earache, headaches and your jaw may even lock.
In some patients, TMD symptoms are minor and treatments, such as applying heat or ice, eating soft foods and wearing a night guard may help. But for others, symptoms are not alleviated with the approach mentioned above.
Strathcona Dental Clinic also offers Botox as an alternative treatment for TMD. You probably already know that Botox is used cosmetically to decrease wrinkles and create a more youthful appearance. But it is also used therapeutically to treat different conditions including temporomandibular joint disorder.
Botox is a non-surgical approach to treating teeth grinding and TMD. It does not usually cause any side effects that negatively affect speech, eating or any other functions. Botox treatment involves a series of injections that treats TMD by weakening the muscles that are used when you grind or clench your teeth. Since you’re no longer placing stress on your jaw, tension decreases, which often results in a decrease of symptoms. The positive effects of Botox last many months and can be permanent.
Even if you don’t suffer from TMD, but still grind your teeth at night, Botox can help. The treatment can protect your dental health since over time grinding can also cause your teeth to become worn down.
In some people, excessive teeth grinding and clenching can also lead to a buildup of the masseter muscle, which can create a widening of your jawline. In women, this may result in a masculine facial shape. Botox may help reduce the size of the muscle and decrease the square shape of the jawline.
Botox is often an effective and virtually painless treatment option, which does not require any recovery time. At our Edmonton dental clinic, Dr. Abdul Wehbe and Dr. Barry Bergh will start by evaluating your specific situation and determine if you are a good candidate for Botox.
We are happy to answer any questions you have. If you’re interested in Botox for TMD or teeth grinding, please call our dental office in Edmonton at (780) 433-1154 or visit our website at http://www.strathconadental.ca/.