Do you have an uncomfortable bite? Do you have discomfort or recurring pain around the jaw?
There are many symptoms and signs of a temporomandibular disorder, TMD, commonly called “TMJ.” From jaw joints that click or pop when chewing to recurring temporal headaches and jaw pain, a TMJ disorder can impact your daily quality of life over time if untreated. Our dental care team in downtown Dallas can provide solutions for the symptoms of a TMJ disorder. Seeking treatment can reduce your pain and improve your oral health.
What Are the Signs of TMJ?
Dr. Barron looks for the common signs of a TMJ problem when performing routine dental exams, which can include worn teeth, tooth damage, and dysfunction in the jaw joints when opening and closing the mouth. There are also signs that you may notice between visits. These can include:
- Jaw pain or tenderness in the jaw joints
- Clicking, popping jaw joints
- Ear pain or a feeling of fullness in the ears
- Headaches, frequently in the morning
A common symptom of a TMJ disorder is teeth grinding, which can contribute to the symptoms of discomfort and affect the appearance of the teeth. If you notice that your teeth appear flat on the top, this may mean that you are grinding your teeth. Teeth grinding typically occurs during sleep or when feeling stressed and can go unnoticed. Regular dental care visits enable our team to spot these signs in the early stage of a developing dental problem. Treated promptly, a TMJ disorder can often be addressed with conservative treatment.
If you have a TMJ disorder and have been away from the dentist, we welcome you to visit with us in our East Quarter of Dallas dental office. Our team can work with you to identify the underlying cause of a TMJ problem and offer appropriate care for your needs. Left untreated, a TMJ disorder can lead to more complex dental problems, affecting the teeth and even the gums.
Treating TMJ in Dallas: what are the options?
Treatment for a TMJ disorder is personalized to the unique needs of the patient. Treatment options can range from a nightguard to prevent teeth grinding to a combination of treatments to align the bite. The goal of treatment is to reduce muscle tension in the jaw joints by addressing the underlying cause. In some cases, orthodontics may be recommended to straighten teeth if malocclusion is a contributing factor.
Dr. Barron also offers advanced treatment for TMJ with therapeutic Botox. Strategic injections in the jaw joints, temples or forehead areas can reduce muscle tension, allow the jaw joints to relax, and reduce chronic pain. Botox works by relaxing the treated muscles, stopping the ongoing tension and muscle contractions that are causing chronic discomfort. Patients will experience a gradual ease of jaw dysfunction and painful symptoms and typically enjoy results that last up to six months. A recent study has shown that the majority of patients experienced a positive result and a reduction in pain.
Am I a candidate for therapeutic Botox?
Dr. Barron will evaluate your oral health and discuss symptoms to determine if Botox injections are the solution for you. Botox is often a treatment option for patients experiencing significant pain and jaw dysfunction.
Is therapeutic Botox a painful procedure?
Botox injections should cause minimal discomfort. The entire process is typically quick and relatively painless. Patients may experience mild redness, swelling, or tenderness at the injection sites for the first day or two.