Posts for tag: tmd
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, jaw pain caused by TMJ is an oral care issue that affects up to 12 percent of Americans. It has a number of possible causes that are often related to lifestyle factors, repetitive behaviors, or heredity. If you have jaw-related problems, contact Dr. Casey Hart at his office in Marietta, GA, to learn more about TMJ and TMD treatments.
What Is TMJ and TMD?
The upper and lower jaw are connected at the sides by a flexible hinged joint that allows you to open and close your mouth, whether for talking, eating, or simply breathing. TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, better known as TMD, is a disorder involving an inflammation of those connecting joints or the muscle tissue. Symptoms include:
- Popping and clicking sounds when you open or close your mouth.
- Pain on the sides of the head, near the ears.
- Chronic headaches or migraines.
- Jaw locking and resistance
Causes of TMJ Disorder
Your Marietta, GA TMJ and TMD dentist can help you identify the potential cause of your jaw pain and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. Though experts aren’t a hundred percent sure of what exactly causes TMD, there are a few possible contributing factors:
- Diagnosis of an arthritic condition
- A family history of jaw pain problems
- Stress, which may cause jaw clenching
- Age (older patients are more likely to have this problem)
- A profession or recreational activity that requires shouting for long periods of time, which can aggravate the TMJs
Some patients get relief from TMJ symptoms after wearing a custom mouthpiece for a period of time, as it helps align the jaw in a more favorable position. Ice therapy will also help reduce swelling of the joints. In some cases, an orthodontic treatment may be necessary to change the position of the jawline.
Have Your Jaw Pain Addressed by a Dentist
If your TMJ and TMD jaw pain has become either more advanced or a major distraction, Dr. Casey Hart can help you at his dentist office in Marietta, GA. Call the office at (770) 926-8371 today to schedule a consultation.
If you’ve suffered from problems with your jaw joints, known collectively as temporomandibular disorders (TMDs), then you know how uncomfortable and painful they can be. You may also have heard about the use of Botox injections to ease TMD discomfort.
Before you seek out Botox treatment for TMD, though, you should consider the current research on the matter. Far from a “miracle” treatment, the dental profession is still undecided on the effects of Botox to relieve TMD pain symptoms — and there are other risks to weigh as well.
Botox is an injectable drug with a poisonous substance called botulinum toxin type A derived from clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that causes muscle paralysis. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved small dose use for some medical and cosmetic procedures, like wrinkle augmentation. The idea behind its use for TMD is to relax the muscles connected to the joint by paralyzing them and thus relieve pain.
The FDA hasn’t yet approved Botox for TMD treatment, although there’s been some use for this purpose. There remain concerns about its effectiveness and possible complications. In the first place, Botox only relieves symptoms — it doesn’t address the underlying cause of the discomfort. Even in this regard, a number of research studies seem to indicate Botox has no appreciable effect on pain relief.
As to side effects or other complications, Botox injections have been known to cause pain in some cases rather than relieve it, as with some patients developing chronic headaches after treatment. A few may build up resistance to the toxin, so that increasingly higher dosages are needed to achieve the same effect from lower dosages. And, yes, Botox is a temporary measure that must be repeated to continue its effect, which could lead to permanent paralyzing effects on the facial muscles and cause muscle atrophy (wasting away) and even deformity.
It may be more prudent to stick with conventional approaches that have well-documented benefits: a diet of easier to chew foods; cold and heat applications; physical therapy and exercises; pain-relief medications and muscle relaxers; and appliances to help control grinding habits. Although these can take time to produce significant relief, the relief may be longer lasting without undesirable side effects.