Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) is a common medical ailment caused by issues with the jaw, jaw joint, and muscles around the face which control the movement of the jaw. The temporomandibular joint connects the lower portion of the jaw to the skull and is located on both sides of the head, in front of the ears. The range of motion provided by the temporomandibular joint controls a patient’s ability to chew, yawn and speak. At Laser Smile Studio in Denton, TX and with the help of board-certified dental physician, Dr. Todd McCracken, patients may find relief from some of their TMJ symptoms.
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How to Treat TMJ
Patients suffering from TMJ, commonly experience severe pain and discomfort in their jaw. This pain may only last a few hours or a few days if the joint and muscles are able to find the rest and relief needed to function normally again. At times an anti-inflammatory medication is recommended to reduce swelling and relieve pain while the jaw recovers. But in some situations, the pain does not subside and may require the attention of a medical professional. At Laser Smile Studio, we offer a few TMJ treatments which have provided our patients with relief. Muscle stretching techniques, relaxation exercises and bite guards are just a few things we recommend to address TMJ.
BOTOX for TMJ
When TMJ treatments and anti-inflammatory medications are not working to relieve the symptoms and pain of TMJ, Dr. McCracken may recommend the use of BOTOX®. This product is a cosmetic prescription medicine that is commonly injected into muscles around the face to improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles. However, BOTOX® Cosmetic when administered by a certified dentist, can be a wonderful solution for addressing the dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint. The cosmetic product works by blocking the nerve impulses to the joint, thus reducing the muscle activity that causes pain in the jaw and face when suffering from TMJ.
Other Forms of Treatment
Occasionally, the treatment options provided by Dr. McCracken at Laser Smile Studio are not successful in eliminating the pain and tenderness caused by TMJ. In these situations, more invasive medical procedures may be necessary and can be discussed at the patient’s primary medical care provider’s office. These options may include cortisone injections, which can help relieve both inflammation and pain, or jaw joint replacement surgery which is usually a last resort. Jaw joint therapy is the replacement of the jaw joint with a new, artificial joint. Though these more invasive procedures may seem intimidating, they are effective in treating the pain and discomfort that commonly accompanies TMJ.
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At Laser Smile Studio, we understand that although TMJ is common, it can cause our patients, serious discomfort. It is our mission to attempt to treat this issue in office, prioritizing minimally invasive procedures first. We are always hopeful to address the issue quickly and effectively, keeping your comfort in mind at all times. If you believe you are suffering from TMJ and feel that we may be able to help treat it, give our front office a call today. We look forward to scheduling your consultation and helping to reduce your TMJ associated pain.