TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorders)
Commonly referred to as "TMJ" Temporomandibular Joint and muscle disorders are a group of conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the muscles that control jaw movement. Myfoscial pain is a pain or discomfort in the muscles that control jaw function.
Not all TMJ problems manifest themselves this way, because this is a condition of both the joint and the muscle. The cause of discomfort could also be atributed to arthritis, or internal derangement of the joint. In some cases a patient may experience all three of these conditions at the same time. Some signs you may be suffering from TMJ problems include:
- Pain or tenderness of your jaw.
- Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints.
- Aching pain in and around your ear.
- Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing.
- Aching facial pain.
- Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should consult your physician for proper diagnosis and treatment options.
Treating TMJ with Botox®
Botulinum toxin, aka Botox®, may be used as an alternative treatment for TMJ disorders. When injected into facial muscles afflicted with soreness and discomfort, it relieves TMJ pain and jaw tension for many patients by making muscles unable to engage in the powerful, often unconscious movement of the jaw that produces headaches and pain.
Botox® treatment for TMJ disorders and jaw tension is usually an effective non-surgical remedy. Injections can be administered in a dental office by a trained technician. Most patients experience noticeable improvement within one or two days of their first treatment, although relief can take up to a week.
How your dentist can help
After a thorough examination, your dentist may suggest a plan to treat your TMJ disorder. This treatment plan may include relaxation techniques, a referral to a physiotherapist, a chiropractor or a behavioural therapist to help you ease muscle pain. Other treatment options may include medicine for pain, inflammation or tense muscles.
If the discomfort continues, your dentist may also refer you to a dental specialist with extra training in TMJ. This could be a specialist in oral medicine or orofacial pain, an oral surgeon, an orthodontist, a periodontist or a prosthodontist. If your dentist refers you to a dental specialist, he or she will explain what that specialist does.
Botox® is considered as an alternative treatment for TMJ disorder and should only be considered after consulting your dentist. We offer no hassle consultations in our Lethbridge Dental offices and other locations in southern Alberta.