Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as recurring headaches. In some cases, this pain is due to Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD.
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement.
Symptoms of TMD include:
- Pain in the jaw area
- Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
- Frequent headaches or neck aches
- Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves
- Swelling on the sides of the face
- Muscle spasms in the jaw area
- A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
- Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth
Should you notice any of these symptoms, let your doctor know. Your dentist can help indicate the presence of TMD and create an effective treatment just for you.
There are a few simple steps you can take at home or work to prevent TMD from becoming more severe, or to prevent it from occurring:
- Relax your face — remember the rule: "Lips together, teeth apart"
- Avoid grinding your teeth
- Avoid constant gum chewing
- Don't cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder — either use a headset or hold the receiver in your hand
- Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
- Do not sit with your chin rested on your hand
- Practice good posture — keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared
Teeth grinding, or bruxism, refers to excessive grinding of the teeth and/or excessive clenching of the jaw, usually occurring when one sleeps. If you wake up with jaw pain, tension headaches, or facial pain, you may be suffering from bruxism. Some people aren’t even aware they are grinding or clenching their teeth at night, until a visit to us reveals significant tooth enamel loss or damage to restorations.
Tension, stress, and anxiety experienced during the daytime can carry over to an individual’s sleep, and lead the person to grind his or her teeth together or clench the teeth unknowingly. Regardless of the cause, however, frequent clenching and grinding wears down the chewing surfaces of the teeth, reduces tooth enamel, and can result in a cracked or chipped tooth, crown, or filling.
Fortunately, there is a non-invasive and effective solution for teeth grinding, and the tooth enamel damage it can cause, in custom-fabricated nightguards. Nightguards are created through a non-invasive process that includes taking an impression of the bottom and top rows of teeth. The result is a nightguard that is flexible, comfortable, and personalized to your mouth.
Although it’s important to wear your nightguard faithfully if you grind your teeth at night, you can also follow a few self-care tips to help to prevent your teeth grinding from worsening.
- Reduce tension and stress. Whether you take a warm bath before bed, listen to soothing music, or exercise, practicing stress-relieving activities can help alleviate stress and tension.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine. In some patients, alcohol and caffeine can increase teeth-grinding tendencies.
- Focus on relaxing jaw muscles. Make a conscious effort to keep your jaw relaxed. A warm washcloth against your cheek, sticking your tongue between your teeth, and avoiding chewing pencils, pens, and gum are all ways to train the muscles of your jaw to stay relaxed. Remember: lips together, teeth apart!
Because you may have bruxism and be unaware of it until complications develop, it's important to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism and to seek regular dental care. If you suspect that bruxism is the cause for your headaches or jaw pain, please contact our office and schedule an appointment.
Noticeable results, no surgery, and no recovery time – discover the benefits of Botox® at our practice.
There are many different reasons that patients choose to receive Botox treatment, from wanting to remove fine lines and wrinkles to treating more severe conditions such as TMJ and chronic migraines. Botox can relieve any of the symptoms that make you feel less confident, and help you achieve a more youthful, radiant appearance.
What is Botox Cosmetic?
Botox is a medication that can only be prescribed to you by a healthcare professional. It is used as a temporary treatment for patients between the ages of 18 and 65. Botox treatments are quick and comfortable, and within hours you will begin to notice a difference in the way your skin looks and feels.
How does Botox work?
Botox uses a special protein to block overactive nerve impulses, restricting muscle contractions. In doing so, Botox helps to relax the muscles beneath the skin, so that fine lines and wrinkles become less visible, giving the skin a healthy, more youthful appearance.
Depending on each individual case, the results can last between one and six months. Treatment is temporary, and once the Botox begins to wear off, the skin will return to the way it looked before treatment.
Botox is also used to relieve symptoms of TMJ, as well as provide comfort to patients receiving dental implants. In each case, Botox is used to reduce the amount of stress placed on the teeth and jaw so that patients feel comfortable and confident.
Am I a good candidate for Botox?
Botox may or may not be the right treatment for you. The best candidates for treatment with Botox are:
- Between the ages of 18 and 65
- Diagnosed with, and experiencing discomfort from, TMJ
- Concerned with removing wrinkles and fine lines
- Looking for a non-surgical skin treatment
- Aware that Botox results are temporary
- In good physical and psychological health
- Willing to discuss their concerns and desires with their dentist before treatment
If you feel that you are a good candidate for a Botox treatment, and are interested in learning more, please contact our practice to schedule a consultation. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.