What Is TMJ and TMD?
On either side of your face there is a joint that connects your mandible—or jawbone—to your temple. This is called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
This very small joint is responsible for a lot of work. It controls the movement of your mouth while biting, chewing, speaking, as well as while making many facial expressions. For this reason, it is very susceptible to stress. Extended periods of stress can lead to damage or injury.
When the TMJ is experiencing such damage or has been injured in some way, this is called a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
What Are the Symptoms of TMD?
The causes of TMDs can be anything from sporting injuries and car accidents to jaw misalignment. Arthritis, cartilage loss, and bruxism also can all be culprits.
Although the causes of TMDs are varied and often unique, several of the symptoms are common to all manner of cases. These can include:
- Pain while chewing.
- Pain or tenderness in the muscles around the jaw.
- Pain or soreness directly in one or both of the TMJs.
- Tension surrounding the ears.
- Difficulty chewing.
- Popping or clicking when moving your jaw.
- Locking of the joint.
- Headaches or migraines.
If you have experienced any of these symptoms but haven’t been able to place the cause, it is possible that a TMJ disorder is responsible.
Treatments for TMD, Headaches, and Orofacial Pain
TMJ headaches and orofacial pain can seem like minor annoyances, compared to many other facial problems. But remember: just because you can handle the pain doesn’t mean you should have to!
Create a Smile Dentistry offers a number of excellent treatments that are designed to not only relieve the pain of a TMJ headache, but to also actually allow the TMJ to heal.
Botox | Botox is a protein that influences a muscle’s ability to tense up. When injected into the area around the TMJ, it will block the transmitters that run between the muscles and the active nerves. This reduces tension and gives the TMJ a little bit of a break. This is a great way to find TMJ headache relief that lasts!
If you would like to know more about how Botox can help with TMD or schedule an appointment, visit our CAS MediSpa website:
Oral Appliances | Oral appliances are great for TMDs that stem specifically from the misalignment of the jaw. When using an oral appliance, the jaw is held where the joint would like it to be. An appliance will also keep the joint from being used too much. Just as with the Botox treatment, this gives the TMJ a small vacation, and therefore it has time to heal.
Mouth Guard for Teeth Grinding | Bruxism is the chronic grinding or clenching of teeth. It is a major cause of both tooth damage and TMJ tension. Fortunately, wearing a mouthguard for teeth grinding is a great way to help to save you from both.
Talk to Create a Smile Dentistry About TMD
If you suspect that you have a TMD, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us. From Botox to a mouthguard for teeth grinding, we’d love to discuss your many treatment options and work toward getting you healthy again.