Temporomandibular disorders, or TMD/TMJ, refer to a set of medical conditions that involve the jaw joints, the muscles that render jaw movement, and the dental occlusion. They are often collectively called TMJ by doctors and insurance companies: though TMJ refers only to the jaw joints. TMJ physical disorders are caused due to an imbalance in the fragile relationship of the skull and jaw with the muscles that move the jaw and also the nervous system associated with these systems.
An imbalance can result in spasm, joint dysfunction, muscle fatigue, and also changes in teeth, which can trigger different symptoms, varied for each patient.
BOTOX® resolves jaw tension by disabling the muscles in the strong and often unconscious movement of the jaw: an action that causes pain and headaches. As an alternative treatment for jaw tension and TMJ disorders, BOTOX® is effective, straightforward, and quick. It is non-surgical, and the BOTOX® injections are given in a doctor’s office with no requirement for a hospital stay. Patients often feel improvement within a day or two of the first treatment. However, relief from symptoms can take up to a week.
BOTOX® is considered to be a safe alternative to conventional treatment for most patients experiencing jaw tension or having a TMJ disorder. However, it is vital for BOTOX® providers to diagnose patients properly to find out if they are eligible for the treatment.
During the first consultation, your dentist or doctor should review your medical history before starting the treatment. Patients should reveal facts such as the use of medications, drugs, or other substances that could have an adverse reaction with BOTOX®. Patients must also report any allergies to avoid a possible bad reaction to BOTOX® treatment. However, patients having TMJ disorders or jaw tension, unable to have BOTOX® injections, are likely to be recommended a more traditional treatment routine.
BOTOX® injections can often provide significant relief to patients experiencing pain and soreness due to a malfunctioning temporo-mandibular joint. The treatment reduces the ability of facial muscles to participate in problematic grinding and allows them to carry out daily activities such as chewing, talking, and swallowing—making the BOTOX® alternative treatment for jaw tension an effective and convenient choice for many patients. Moreover, the treatment can protect dental health, which can get affected due to excessive grinding resulting in damaged gums and worn teeth: both of which require costly treatment.
BOTOX® treatment for TMJ disorders is considered safe. However, certain intoxicants, medications, and substances can either reduce or adversely affect the effectiveness of BOTOX® injections. For the procedure to be a success, patients should disclose information about substance or medication they are taking before the commencement of the treatment.
In a few cases, patients have experienced excessive paralysis of the muscles in the areas of the treatment and sometimes bleeding and bruising at injection sites. Given the complications involved in the treatment, ensure that your doctor discusses all the risks before treatment.
If a patient is initially given an appropriate diagnosis and treatment, alternative medical treatment for TMJ may not be advised. Alternative treatments include ultrasound, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), radio wave therapy, and trigger-point injections. Radio wave therapy and TENS send low-level radio or electrical waves of energy to the afflicted area to trigger blood flow to the joint and nearby area.
Surgery is usually a last-resort treatment after your health practitioner has tried other treatment options. Once undertaken, all TMJ-related surgery is carried out under general anesthesia. Your oral surgeon could perform the minor procedure called arthrocentesis in which the surgeon cleans the joint by putting needles into the joint area and inserting sterile fluid. Sometimes, the surgeon can insert a scalpel-like tool inside the joint to get rid of any tissue adhesions and realign the disc in the joint hinge.
Arthroscopy is another type of surgery that may be performed. During the surgery, the surgeon makes a cut at the temple point in front of the ear to insert an endoscope into the surrounding area. The endoscope offers a visual guide so that the surgeon can remove possible adhesions, reposition the disc, or treat inflammation.
An open joint surgery often becomes an option in complicated cases. It’s the only procedure that offers access to the deteriorating bony structures, severe chipped or scarred bone areas, and tumors. Your surgeon, depending on the nature of the problem, may utilize a scalpel to re-sculpt or remove the affected area.
Bruxism or teeth grinding is a medical condition experienced by a significant percentage of Americans and can result or be aggravated due to stress. As such, clenching or grinding of teeth occasionally is normal and is called bruxism and does not cause harm. However, when teeth grinding takes place frequently, it can result in damage to the teeth and lead to further complications. People come to know they are grinding their teeth at night only when they wake up doing it.
Bruxism and TMD can cause facial pain, headaches, chipped teeth, earaches, and chewed tissue on the inside of the mouth. Repeated grinding will frequently lead to a hypertrophied masseter muscle: a major muscle used for chewing. Like weightlifting helps build biceps, the action of grinding builds the hypertrophied masseter muscle. However, teeth clenching with stronger muscles can cause more damage to the teeth.
Chronic teeth grinding, in some case, can cause in loss, loosening, or fracturing of teeth. Constant grinding could wear teeth down to stumps. Severe grinding damage can not only result in tooth loss but can also cause hearing loss, affect your jaws, change the appearance of your face, and worsen or cause TMD/TMJ. Moreover, facial pain and headaches may worsen with time due to bruxism.
The risk of developing temporomandibular disorders increase due to the following factors: