If you struggle with chronic jaw pain, limited jaw mobility, headaches, or even back pain, you may be suffering from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Resulting from teeth grinding, facial trauma, and other factors, this condition can take a serious toll on your quality of life. Fortunately, at Fort Bend Dental in Missouri City, TX, and Richmond, TX, our dentists offer several types of TMJ treatment, including mouth guards and BOTOX® Cosmetic to meet our patients' diversified needs. After conducting a thorough evaluation, our team can create a personalized treatment plan designed to relieve symptoms and address the underlying cause of your condition.
An Overview of TMJ Disorder
The temporomandibular joint acts as a hinge, enabling your jaw to open and close smoothly. When the joint, or its inner disc, becomes misaligned, eroded, or damaged, it can cause immense discomfort and inflammation. Stress from conditions such as arthritis, teeth grinding (bruxism), as well as injury, can result in TMD.
Our team is careful to always address the cause of TMD, and not just the symptoms.
Depending on the cause of your TMD and its severity, the condition can present with various symptoms, including:
- Jaw pain, which can be dull but constant or intense but intermittent
- Radiating pain, which could spread to your neck, shoulders, and/or upper back
- Ringing in the ears or ear pain
- Inflammation of the lower face and neck
- Limited jaw movement, which can prevent you from opening or closing your mouth all the way
- Chronic headaches that often resemble tension headaches
- Popping or clicking noise when you move your jaw
- A grating sensation when you open or close your mouth
In addition to general discomfort, reduced mobility can make it difficult to eat, especially chewy or crunchy foods.
TMJ Disorder Treatment Options
At Fort Bend Dental we offer various treatments for TMD. Your dentist can evaluate your symptoms and their underlying cause to determine the best option for you.
Mouth guards are one of the most common solutions, being both simple and highly effective. After taking impressions of your smile, your dentist can design a device that fits comfortably around your teeth. The device will apply gentle pressure to your lower jaw to push it marginally forward. This will alleviate the pressure on your TMJs, allowing inflammation to abate. Mouth guards can also keep you from grinding and clenching your teeth.
Simple lifestyle changes can also lessen the symptoms of TMJ disorder. As chewing gum and resting your chin on your hand can strain your joints, you should avoid these habits. Improving your posture can also help to reduce pressure on your jaw. Depending upon your needs, we may recommend a temporary soft diet, giving your muscles and ligaments a chance to heal.
In some cases, pain medications and anti-inflammatories can be effective. However, our team is careful to always address the cause of TMD, and not just the symptoms. Therefore, we will usually recommend medications in conjunction with another treatment.
BOTOX for TMD
Although you may think of BOTOX injections as a cosmetic treatment, they can also greatly improve the symptoms of TMJ disorder. BOTOX contains safe amounts of diluted botulinum toxin, which blocks nerve signals and reduces muscle tension and spasms. By relaxing your facial muscles, BOTOX can reduce the tension that causes headaches and other discomfort.
If your dentist recommends BOTOX treatment, he can begin by numbing the area for your comfort. He can then administer BOTOX injections at strategic locations. The appointment will usually take 15 to 30 minutes, and you should start to notice the effects after about one week. Results usually last between three and six months, and you can receive repeat treatments on an as-needed basis.
Find the Relief You Need
There is no reason to suffer from chronic pain when we offer effective treatment for TMD. Contact Fort Bend Dental online to book your consultation. You can also call our Missouri City location (281) 499-3541 or our Richmond office at (281) 342-6178.