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All Posts in Category: TMJ

tmj dentist port washington ny

BOTOX Treatment For TMJ Disorders

Physical pain can be daunting and debilitating. Problems impacting the jaw are often particular concerning. Such maladies often limit one’s capacity to perform pertinent actions like talking and eating.

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In a solid percentage of instances, discernible problems impact the jaw’s temporomandibular joint, which is sometimes simply abbreviated as the TMJ.

Given that TMD, temporomandibular disorders, or the illnesses manifesting from TMJ concerns, could hinder one’s capacity to effectively communicate, ingest adequate nutrition, and, in certain instances, even open one’s mouth, the medical community continually seeks different forms of treatment.

One such remediation technique is known as BOTOX administration.

Read on for TMJ treatment info using BOTOX. If you have additional questions regarding TMJ treatment, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

BOTOX Treatment For Jaw Tension And TMD

BOTOX is therapeutic version of the botulism toxin, which when eaten or inhaled in sufficient quantities, could cause serious muscle paralysis. In recent times, researchers have found that small concentrations of the substance might prove effective in addressing symptoms associated with TMD.

How Does BOTOX Treat Jaw Tension And TMD?

In a controlled, medically-supervised environment, healthcare providers carefully inject BOTOX into an afflicted person’s TMJ or surrounding jaw muscles. The numbing effects of the therapeutic protocol are believed to alleviate pain and other associated TMD manifestations.

Typically, the treatment is administered inside the performing physician’s office. Though still in the experimental stages, this is quickly becoming a preferred TMD therapy because said undertaking requires no hospital stay, is minimally-invasive, and can often be administered within 15 to 30 minutes.

How Long Does It Take For BOTOX To Treat Jaw Tension And TMD?

In many cases, those administered injections witness conditional improvements soon thereafter. For some people, said benefits may occur in as little as a couple of days. That said, therapeutic impact might not occur for up to a week.

Risks, Limitations And Possible Complications of Botox® Injections

Usually, the associated risks are few. That said, manifestations could vary from person to person and are often impacted by the specific facial region where injection occurred.

Recipients could encounter side effects, such as flu-like symptoms, headaches, nausea, pain, swelling around the injection site, and muscle weakness. However, these occurrences are not often severe and typically dissipate within a week or so following treatment.

The most potentially untoward side effects often occur in subjects receiving treatment near the mouth. Bruising or relaxation of surrounding muscles might precipitate short-lived issues, including problems eating, kissing, and speaking, in addition to incidents of drooling.

The process should not be performed on pregnant subjects. Furthermore, persons with underlying illnesses are encouraged to disclose such concerns with their doctors before undergoing this therapy.

Is BOTOX Treatment For Jaw Tension and TMJ Disorders Painful?

Typically, the most notable pain associated with the procedure is caused by the needle used at the injection site. Though often fast and temporary, the associated broken skin might cause discomfort. Fortunately, administering physicians might minimize this problem by numbing injection sites with ice or anesthetic preparations.

What to Expect After the Botulinum Toxin TMD Treatment?

In an appreciable percentage of cases, pain and other TMD-related symptoms improve within several days following administration.

What Is The Recovery Period?

In most instances, recipients can return to their daily routine within a day or two following treatment. That said, in an effort to prevent the toxin from traveling to adjacent muscles or bodily regions, healthcare providers recommend limiting physical activity in the procedure’s immediate aftermath.

TMJ Overview: What is TMJ?

TMD is technically a collection of conditions impacting an individual possessing a problematic TMJ. From an anatomical standpoint, the temporomandibular component is considered the jaw joint.

This structure attaches the mandible, which is the jaw’s lower region, to the skull’s temporal bone. The temporal bone is situated adjacent to the ears on each side of the face.

When the joint is healthy and functioning optimally, it opens and closes with relative ease enabling subjects to chew, speak, yawn, kiss, and open their mouths with little, if any, difficulty. TMD occurs when the TMJ or the jaw’s surrounding muscles encounter injury or some other problematic circumstances.

Common causes of the condition include acute jaw trauma, tension placed on the joint by poor habits like teeth grinding or jaw clenching, joint dislocation, arthritis impacting the jaw, and physical or emotional tension.

Signs And Symptoms of TMJ

The most common physical manifestation is pain. Naturally, this discomfort is most prominently seen in the jaw area. However, said discomfort has been known to spread to other bodily regions, including the neck, shoulders, and ears. In addition, this pain might render basic activities challenging.

Stricken subjects might also experience facial swelling, popping or clicking sounds when opening or closing one’s mouth, tooth pain, oral cavity tension, earaches, dizziness and possibly even tinnitus, which is a loud, persistent ringing inside the ears.

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The Link Between Sleep Apnea and Dentistry

The Link Between Sleep Apnea and Dentistry

SLEEP APNEA AFFECTS over 18 million adults in the United States alone, as well as one of every five children who habitually snore. Our Port Washington dental team are often the first ones to notice the signs of this disorder, because it can be very harmful to oral health.

How Does Sleep Apnea Work?

Sleep apnea can work in different ways, depending on the cause. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to signal the respiratory muscles to keep breathing during sleep. Much more common is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is caused by the airway becoming physically blocked. Typically, the tongue collapses against the soft palate, which in turn collapses against the throat, sealing off the airway. Complex sleep apnea combines OSA and central sleep apnea.

Whatever the cause of the interrupted breathing, the outcome is the same. Not breathing sets off all the brain’s alarm bells, waking the person up to take a breath. It happens so quickly that most people with sleep apnea never remember waking up, even if they’re waking up hundreds of times in a single night. They still feel the effects of not getting a full night’s sleep, however, through symptoms like exhaustion, morning headaches, and difficulty concentrating.

What Does Sleep Apnea Have to Do with Teeth?

In addition to the short-term and long-term effects of sleep deprivation, people with OSA tend to be more vulnerable to developing moderate to severe periodontitis, and they’re also more likely to have trouble with their jaw joints.

Studies have shown that the jaw tends to reflexively clench during a sleep apnea episode to try to keep the airway open. All that strain can result in temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD), which have symptoms like pain when chewing, chronic headaches, damage to the teeth, and neck and shoulder pain.

3V Dental Can Help

The reason dentists are often the first health providers to recognize the signs of sleep apnea and diagnose it is that dental health effects are a common complication. (Just one of many reasons why regular dental appointments are so important, not just for oral health but overall health.) Treatment for sleep apnea typically involves continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines or nighttime dental devices that push the lower jaw or the tongue forward.

Healthier Sleep Leads to Healthier Smiles!

Getting a full and restful night’s sleep is critical if we want to feel great and have the energy we need to go about our days. If you suspect you or someone you love might be missing out on good sleep due to sleep apnea (snoring is a major sign), your next appointment with us could be life-changing.

We wish all our 3V Dental Associates patients a good night’s sleep every night!

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tmj dentist port washington ny

TMJ – Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment and Relief Options

TMJ – Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ occurs when there are facial issues concerning the jaw and muscles. The TMJ joint is what connects the skull’s temporal bones to the jaw. The temporomandibular joint is similar to a sliding hinge. The TMJ is what enables the individual to open and close their mouth. When the TMJ is not performing correctly, the result is discomfort and pain.

According to the American Dental Association:

Diagnosis is an important step before treatment. Part of the dental examination includes checking the joints and muscles for tenderness, clicking, popping or difficulty moving. Depending on the diagnosis, the dentist may refer you to a physician or another dentist.

The Symptoms and Signs of TMJ

There are a lot of symptoms and signs experienced when an individual has TMJ. Determining if the individual has TMJ is not simple. This is because there are so many issues that can cause the exact same symptoms and signs. The best way to receive an accurate diagnosis is to see a dentist. The dentist will take the appropriate steps. This includes:

• Taking a complete dental and medical history

• Taking all necessary X-rays

• Completing a thorough clinical examination

The most common symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder include:

• A jaw that is locked in place, goes out of place or becomes stuck

• Headaches impersonating migraines, pressure in the back of the eyes and earaches

• Facial swelling

• Tenderness in the muscles of the jaw

• Discomfort in facial areas including the ear and jaw

• Difficulty biting and chewing

• A popping or clicking noise when the mouth is opened or closed

• A swift change in dental occlusion or the way the upper and lower jaws come together

Diagnosing TMJ

The only way to diagnose TMJ accurately is for a dentist to perform a complete evaluation of the jaw joint, the surrounding structures and to look for an occlusion. The dentist may look for inflammation by checking the tissues and muscles of the neck and head. In most cases, panoramic X-rays are necessary. The dentist may recommend specific movements and exercises.

The individual may receive a referral to a maxillofacial surgeon for further diagnosis and evaluation.

Methods to Relieve the Discomfort of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

In some cases, medication will be prescribed to offer the individual relief from the discomfort. Certain medications can be purchased over the counter. The dosage and type of medication are determined by the specific issue. The individual needs to discuss any medications they are currently using for safety. This includes vitamins, supplements and herbs. The most common medications for treating this condition include:

Analgesics and Anti-Inflammatories: Analgesics offer relief from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and discomfort. Anti-inflammatories decrease discomfort, heat, swelling and pain while helping restore function. (NSAIDs) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories relieve both discomfort and inflammation.

Antidepressants: This medication helps with (bruxism) teeth grinding and decreases discomfort. A higher dosage is often prescribed for the treatment of depression. Lower dosages offer relief from the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder. This can also decrease pain in the muscles. A body chemical shown to improve sleep called serotonin is increased. This is what helps with bruxism while the individual is sleeping.

Muscle Relaxants: These are for the treatment of myofascial pain. This discomfort is common in the muscles or soft tissues around the TMJ. Muscle relaxants help ease the tension in the muscles to decrease pressure on the TMJ resulting from tight jaw muscles.

TMJ Treatment Options

This type of therapy focuses on the TMJ. The joint can be treated in several different ways. This includes:

• Exercises to strengthen the jaw and facial muscles.

• Gently manipulation to restore motion and decrease discomfort. The medical profession will relax the ligaments and muscles surrounding the joint with their hands. These are often the cause of the discomfort.

• The individual can manage and treat their symptoms through a self-care program. This usually includes exercise. Heat and ice can be used to provide relief from pain.

• The sound waves emitted by ultrasound can decrease swelling and discomfort. This will also improve the swelling.

The Treatment for Painful Muscles

One of the trigger points is tight muscles. These can be painful when touched, causing pain in other areas. The medical professional concentrates on trigger points through the use of:

Palpation: The application of pressure on specific areas of the face and jaw using the fingers.

Massage: Massage outside and inside the mouth is important for improving circulation and relaxation.

Stretching and Cold Spray: This is used to relax the muscles.

Pain Relief: Anesthetics may be injected by the dentist to relieve discomfort.

The Treatment for Inflammation

Movement is difficult to impossible once the joint becomes inflamed. The medical professional may recommend treatments including:

A Cold Pack: This decreases pain and reduces swelling. A cold pack is applied for between ten and twenty minutes. This process is repeated three to four times per day. A cold pack is made by putting ice cubes inside of a plastic bag with a seal. A thin cloth or towel is used for wrapping the bag. A cold pack should never be placed right onto the skin.

Gentle Exercise and Rest: This will increase motion. One of the most frequently used exercises is isometric exercise. The pressure is placed on the jaw while the movement is resisted.

Biofeedback: This is important for treating TMJ because it teaches the individual which muscle activities are inappropriate or excessive. The individual is taught skills for muscle relaxation for proper functioning of the TMJ. When the contraction and tightness of the muscle are decreased or eliminated, it can remove the pain. Sensors are used to monitor the heartbeat, breathing, brainwaves and blood pressure of the body.

Stretching May Help Your TMJ

Physical function and flexibility can be improved through stretching exercises. Two stretching exercises are defined below.

• Place your thumb beneath your chin while pressing downwards. Keep the force of your thumb at a moderate level. Open and close your mouth against this force. Hold your mouth open for five to ten seconds.

• Open your mouth as wide as possible without causing any discomfort. Place you index finger between your lower lip and chin.

Acupuncture as a Form of TMJ Treatment and Relief

Acupuncture has been effectively used for the treatment of TMJ. Acupuncture will not eliminate the cause of any structural anomalies including disc displacement or degenerative changes. Acupuncture can help decrease the discomfort and pain associated with temporomandibular joint disorder.

If you are experiencing pain due to TMJ, contact our office today and speak with your dental care associate.

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