Jaw And Facial Pain
What Is TMJ/TMD?
TMJ disorders (or TMD) are a collection of jaw problems that may require treatment by a dentist or orthodontist. The jaw joint is complex, with a number of structures that facilitate vertical and lateral movements. Problems may develop in the numerous muscles, ligaments, and nerves that help the joint to perform correctly. When the TMJ is not functioning ideally, the pain can be debilitating.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, give us a call at (610) 525-6142 to discover your treatment options.
- Jaw pain or stiffness
- Headaches, earaches, toothaches
- Clicking or popping noises during chewing
- Masseter muscle enlargement (square face appearance)
Jaw Clenching And Teeth Grinding
The Symptoms And Effects Of Bruxism
Another condition associated with TMJ/TMD is the pain and tenderness of facial muscles caused by jaw clenching or teeth grinding, known as bruxism. Teeth clenching and grinding can create a multitude of complications that are not only painful, but detrimental to your long-term oral health.
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have bruxism or another TMJ disorder:
- sore jaw muscles
- a chewed inner cheek or tongue
- clicking and popping noises while eating
Severe teeth grinding can result in worn, chipped teeth and receded gums even in the absence of gum disease. Compression of the nerves and blood vessels in the back of the joint can cause headaches, face, jaw, and neck pain, as well as earaches and toothaches. Displacement of the cartilage disc, indicating dislocation of the joint, and results in clicking, popping, or grating noises upon opening and closing the jaw. Patients with bruxism experience a higher incidence of root canals and other major dental work on the back teeth.
Relieve Your Pain
Botox Therapy For Bruxism And TMJ/TMD
If you have tried to treat your TMJ disorder with a mouth guard and other measures without any improvement, TMJ Botox Treatment at Foote Orthodontics might be for you. The Botox treatment helps to relax muscles that support the lower jaw, thus taking pressure off of the joint and reducing pain.
Botox is a safe alternative to surgery for most people who are experiencing jaw tension or have a TMJ disorder, such as bruxism. Botox injections often provide substantial relief from the pain of muscle spasms associated with TMJ while still allowing muscles to perform daily activities such as talking, chewing, and swallowing. In addition, the treatment can help safeguard dental health, since excessive grinding can result in worn teeth and damaged gums that may require costly treatment.
The TMJ Botox treatment is a non-surgical procedure performed in our office that takes just a few minutes, and most patients experience noticeable improvement within a few days of their first treatment. Relief can take up to 2 weeks to fully kick in, however, with results lasting for 3-4 months, after which muscles begin to resume their usual activity. We recommend Botox treatment every three to four months to maintain results.
Botox Treatment to Improve Facial Appearance
Bruxism is a specific condition in which people grind or clench their teeth often while sleeping (most do so involuntarily). Grinding or clenching causes the muscle to grow stronger, resulting in headaches, earaches or facial pain, which can worsen with time, and often causes a square facial appearance due to the thickness of the masseter (clenching/biting) muscles.
Besides relief from jaw pain, tension and headaches, patients see a dramatic change in facial appearance after 2-3 sessions of Botox treatments. Once the masseter muscles are relaxed with Botox, the square, heavy appearance of their lower face softens into a more narrow and aesthetically pleasing one.