jaw discomfort

Jaw Discomfort? A Look Into TMJ Solutions in Modern Dentistry

If you’re among the 10 million men and women suffering from TMJ, you know that jaw discomfort often affects your sleep, your ability to eat, and your overall quality of life: but the good news is that there are treatment options that work. Regardless of what’s caused your TMJ, whether grinding, stress, an injury, or other factors, with the right TMJ treatment plan you can live free of the tension, pain, headaches, and discomfort associated with this condition.

Jaw Discomfort? A Look Into TMJ Treatment Options in Modern Dentistry

TMJ is an acronym for temporomandibular joint dysfunction, a condition in which the temporomandibular joints sustain damage due to teeth grinding, bite malocclusion, an injury to the face, improper jaw development that leads to a mid-face deficiency, and other factors. Once damaged, these joints are no longer able to perform their primary role of cushioning the jaw bone and skull.

The result is pain and discomfort ranging from mild to severe, either acute or chronic. Patients suffering from TMJ must receive comprehensive care, as identifying the primary cause of the pain is instrumental in effectively treating the condition and alleviating pain. In modern dentistry, there are several common treatment options that address the cause of this condition so that patients no longer have to live with the symptoms.

BOTOX Injections

BOTOX injections have become popular among patients suffering from TMJ. While this treatment does not address the root cause of TMJ, it does alleviate the pain by relaxing tense muscles in the area. BOTOX injections alleviate the symptoms of TMJ, including facial pain, muscle tenderness, difficulty chewing, and ear, neck, and head pain resulting from TMJ.

The injector administers BOTOX into the tense muscles during the treatment to relax them. Initial improvements are evident within the first few days of treatment and will continue to improve over time. Regular injections are necessary to maintain results long-term.

Splint Therapy

Splint therapy is an effective solution for TMJ and uses a custom-molded removable splint based on each patient’s upper or lower teeth to improve jaw function and encourage smooth movement, resulting in pain relief.

Splint therapy is often the first step in a comprehensive treatment plan as it alleviates TMJ pain resulting from an improper bite or a less-than-ideal jaw position. Splints are worn during the day or at night as directed by the dentist to alleviate pain and improve jaw function.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy for TMJ addresses the root cause of this condition by strengthening and stretching the jaw muscles. A customized physical therapy treatment plan improves the jaw’s range of motion while strengthening the jaw muscles and increasing muscle endurance. Physical therapy as a treatment option for TMJ is often paired with other non-invasive treatment options, including laser therapy, heat and cold therapy, and dry needling.

Effective solutions exist to treat TMJ and alleviate pain and symptoms. If you’re looking for the right treatment option to reduce your pain, we’ll take the necessary steps to determine the root cause and design the right treatment plan for your needs. Contact us today at the office of Rebecca E Reeves, DMD, PA, to schedule a consultation.

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