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What You Need to Know About BOTOX Treatment and Other Therapies for TMJ
Finding the right treatment options for your dental needs can be challenging. This is especially true for patients who suffer from TMJ and other stress-related disorders of the jaw. Getting expert dental care in Wayzata is essential to preventing the damage to your teeth and jaw that can result from TMJ. Here are some key facts you should know about TMJ and the treatments available for this serious dental condition.
What Is TMJ?
Temporomandibular joint syndrome, also referred to as TMJ, is a disorder that affects the muscles and nerves of the jaw. TMJ is usually caused by grinding or clenching the teeth, especially during sleep or periods of stress. It may also be related to injuries to the teeth or jaw, severe misalignments of the teeth or chewing gum frequently.
- Some of the signs of TMJ can be easily identified:
- Pain in the jaw
- Earaches and ear pain
- Stiffness or discomfort in the jaw
- Headaches, especially around the temples
- A feeling of locking or sticking in the jaw muscles
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should plan a visit to your dentist in Wayzata to determine the precise cause of these problems. During your dental examination, your dentist will perform some basic tests to determine whether TMJ is the cause of your symptoms:
- Your visit will likely include a physical examination of your jaw and teeth. This generally involves feeling your jaw while you speak or chew to determine whether your muscles and joints are properly positioned and functioning properly.
- X-rays are often used to determine the precise position of your jaw, teeth and muscles.
- A CT scan or MRI may also be used to examine the condition of the soft tissues and muscles of your jaw.
- Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves using a small tube and camera to take a look inside your jaw. This can be helpful in determining the cause of and severity of TMJ in some patients.
By working with a qualified dentist in Wayzata, you can ensure the best outcomes for your teeth and your smile, now and in the future.
Treatments for TMJ
Depending on the severity of the case and any damage already done to the teeth and jaw muscles, your dentist may recommend treatment options that offer help in managing your TMJ and protecting the condition of your jaw and your teeth:
- Anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers are often recommended for relatively mild cases of TMJ. These may consist of over-the-counter or prescription medications.
- In some cases, tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline can reduce stress to address an underlying cause of TMJ issues.
- Muscle relaxants are also useful in managing pain and reducing damage to muscles and joints because of TMJ.
Dental appliances may also offer added help in dealing with TMJ. These may include mouth guards or oral splints. Your dentist may also recommend other techniques for managing pain and pressure, including massage therapies, applications of ice or heat, exercises that strengthen jaw muscles and eliminating chewing gum.
Surgical procedures to treat TMJ may include the following methods:
- Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that often allows the dentist to quickly and effectively correct issues with muscle and joint pain.
- Open-joint surgical procedures are used for more serious forms of TMJ. These surgeries offer added help in repairing or replacing the joint of your jaw to promote the healthiest bite and to resolve issues caused by TMJ.
- Modified condylotomy procedures treat the mandible to provide indirect relief for TMJ.
- Arthrocentesis procedures are minimally invasive and are used to irrigate the joint to remove tissue and bone that may be dislodged when grinding or clenching your teeth.
BOTOX may also be an option for some patients suffering from TMJ. These injections are less invasive than surgical procedures and offer real help in managing pain and reducing the pressure created by TMJ.
BOTOX for TMJ
BOTOX is a targeted neurotoxin that relaxes the muscles and relieves the symptoms of TMJ for many patients. BOTOX treatment is performed on an outpatient basis and usually takes between 10 and 30 minutes per session. BOTOX for TMJ requires precise application and repeated visits to achieve the desired results. Typical BOTOX injection sites include the jaw and forehead. These sites have been shown to produce the best results for patients suffering from TMJ.
Where Can I Find a Dentist Offering BOTOX Near Me?
At Lake Minnetonka Dental, we work with our patients to provide the best solutions for TMJ, including BOTOX treatment to relax the muscles and to promote faster healing and more complete relief from pain. These injections have been shown to provide real relief for the following symptoms:
- Locking up of the jaw
- Severe tension or pressure on the jaw
- Pain in the jaw or headaches caused by TMJ
Our team will be happy to provide you with a recommendation for the treatment option best for you.
What to Expect During Your BOTOX Treatment
You will usually need several appointments to feel the full effects of your treatment. Some patients report that they can feel a positive difference within a couple of days after their first injections. After your injections, you can continue your regular activities and schedule. Avoid touching or rubbing the BOTOX injection sites for a few hours after your treatment. This will allow the BOTOX to achieve its full effect and relax the muscles of your jaw.
If you would like to learn more about your options for dealing with this serious dental issue, give Lake Minnetonka Dental a call today at (952) 475-0225. Our team is not only ready to recommend effective TMJ solutions—but also provide all of your dental care in Wayzata.