What is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ/TMD)?
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD) is a condition, typically caused by contraction of the jaw and facial muscles, resulting in teeth grinding and clenching. Excessive use of the jaw and facial muscles can wear down the tempormandibular joint of the jaw, causing pain when chewing or biting, limited mouth opening, and clicking or popping when opening your mouth. Also, because the facial, jaw and neck muscles are continuously contracting, headaches, neck aches, and back aches are common with TMD. The consistent grinding or clenching of teeth that is caused by the muscle contraction may also result in wearing down the teeth, and even leads to chipping or fracturing of teeth.
Every patient's case of TMD is different and Dr. Wolfe will provide guidance on the best treatment for your case. If you experience headaches, soreness in the jaw, popping or clicking when opening your mouth, neck aches, or have caught yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, schedule an appointment for a TMD consultation.
TMJ Treatment: Nightguards
Nightguards, which can be worn during the day and at night, treat the symptoms of TMJ/TMD. A major function of nightguards is to protect the teeth. Nightguards also maintain a natural, relaxed jaw position, with the teeth slightly apart, which protects the joint meniscus and the associated muscles.
TMJ Treatment: Botox Injections
More recently, Botox has been used to treat Bruxism. Botox, injected into the jaw muscles can stop the muscles from contracting. Recent studies have indicated bruxism patients treated with Botox report their symptoms as much improved compared with patients treated with a placebo.
Botox injections generally take one week to start working and 2 weeks for a full effect. They last on average 12-16 weeks, and slowly wear off. The injections are generally repeated every 4-6 months. After several treatments the overdeveloped musclces may become normal and preclude the need for further treatment. Dr. Wolfe at Brooklyn Dental Studio has obtained certification to treat Bruxism using Botox.