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TMJ Treatment

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is a painful condition that affects the joint connecting the jawbone to the skull, also known as the temporomandibular joint. TMD can often be treated with a combination of self-care and dental treatments.

Dentist Office

Causes and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a type of Myofunctional Disorder, caused by several factors. The alignment of the jaw and teeth, as well as the health and condition of the jaw and surrounding muscles and tissues, can all contribute to TMD. Some of the other causes are teeth grinding, hereditary conditions, chewing on pen caps, chewing gum frequently, etc.

TMJ disorders can also stem from trauma, such as a blow to the jaw, or from teeth grinding. Some patients don’t even realize they are grinding or clenching their teeth, but others may notice a clicking or popping sound when opening or closing their mouths.

Temporomandibular joint disorder can cause patients to experience a number of symptoms. While some patients may not experience any symptoms, others might suffer from frequent headaches, difficulty chewing, jaw pain, and lockjaw. Diagnosing TMJ disorder usually starts with a thorough dental examination.

Surgical TMJ Treatment

If your TMJ disorder is so severe that it interferes with the functions of your jaw and mouth, you may need surgery. Surgical TMD treatment involves releasing or otherwise adjusting the muscles and joints around your jaw. This can help to correct misalignments and improve your bite, preventing tooth wear and TMJ pain.

Surgical TMD treatment may also be recommended if your bite is not properly aligned after completing orthodontic treatment. Dentists usually recommend surgery for severe cases. This is not a common treatment for TMJ disorders and is usually only recommended if more conservative treatments like mouth guards, medication, and physical therapy have been ineffective.


Oral Appliances For TMJ

Many patients suffer from bruxism or the grinding of teeth. This can be caused by stress, misalignment, or other causes. If left untreated, bruxism can lead to severe dental damage. Mouth guards are a form of an oral appliance that can be worn over your teeth while you sleep or during athletic activities to help prevent injury and damage to your teeth. 

Night guards are especially useful for patients who clench their jaws and grind their teeth at night. Grinding can cause enamel erosion and wear down teeth, which is painful and costly to treat. Wearing a mouth guard can also relieve jaw pain caused by Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. The National Institutes of Health estimates that approximately 10 million Americans suffer from TMJD, which can cause headaches, earaches, and lockjaw. While there is no cure for TMJD, wearing a night guard can prevent the discomfort from worsening due to grinding while sleeping. 

Mouth guards are also recommended for those playing sports to prevent injury to your teeth and gums. Athletes often experience chipped or broken front teeth as a result of the impact on their faces. A custom-fit mouth guard can help absorb the force of an impact on the face and reduce the likelihood of a severe injury. Custom mouth guards also protect soft tissue in the mouth, such as the tongue, lips, cheeks, and gums, from being injured. We can make a custom mouth guard within a few weeks using molds of your mouth to ensure a comfortable and effective fit.

When considering the benefits of using a mouthguard, it should be clear that they are extremely beneficial for people of all ages. They help protect the teeth from damage and help reduce pain and discomfort in specific areas of the mouth. 

A night guard is an oral appliance that can be worn while sleeping to help prevent damage from teeth grinding or clenching. Night guards work to absorb the pressure between the top and bottom rows of teeth, protecting them from excessive wear and damage. Additionally, the guards can help relax your jaw muscles and relieve tension in the muscles of the head and neck for more comfortable sleep. Although a night guard is not a cure for bruxism, it is most often recommended as a first line of defense against future problems.

Non-surgical Treatments for TMJ Disorder

If you develop TMJ disorder, our dentist in Albuquerque NM may recommend one of the following treatments:

  • Bite guard: A bite guard is a removable oral appliance that can help realign your bite and prevent teeth grinding. This device is typically worn at night.

  • Bite adjustment: Bite adjustment involves moving the biting surfaces of your teeth closer together. This can help to reduce stress on your jaw. Adjustments can be completed using crowns, braces, or tooth bonding.

  • Botox: Botox for TMJ is injected into the muscles around the jaw to relax the muscles and relieve tension that may be causing your jaw pain. It is a quick, minimally invasive procedure that has very little downtime.

Botox For TMJ

You’ve probably heard of Botox® for cosmetic purposes, helping you look younger.

But have you heard of therapeutic Botox for facial pain, headaches, and even temporomandibular (TMJ) disorders?

That’s right! Botox for TMJ disorder may relieve common symptoms, such as teeth clenching and headaches.

Botox reduces the activity of facial muscles. Typically, it’s used for cosmetic purposes, minimizes the appearance of:

  • Wrinkles

  • Aging lines around the eyes or forehead

  • Frown lines

Sometimes, Botox is also combined with dermal fillers to restore a youthful glow. Botox can also be used for therapeutic purposes. Since its primary function is to relax facial muscles, it can help relieve pain from tight jaws and other facial muscles that cause tension and headaches.

Benefits Of Botox For TMJ

When you have TMJ disorder, you may experience:

  • Sore cheeks and jaw

  • Teeth clenching or grinding

  • Neck and shoulder pain

  • Tension headaches + more

In patients suffering from TMJ disorder symptoms, Botox helps relax tense jaw muscles and alleviate pain. It’s typically recommended as a complementary treatment to other TMJ disorder therapy, but Botox may be all you need for certain symptoms! Even better, Botox for TMJ disorder symptoms can last up to 3 months.

To find out more about the dental services offered by our dentist in Albuquerque NM, Dr. Snyder, call (505)-293-7611, schedule an online consultation or visit us at 4830 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE, Ste. K, Albuquerque, NM, 87111.

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