Do you find yourself constantly dealing with a stiff, painful jaw or migraine headaches? If so, both problems could actually stem from a strained or injured TMJ, or temporomandibular joint. This joint, located right in front of your ears, is what allows your jaw to move smoothly whenever you eat, speak, laugh or yawn. When a problem with this joint arises (known as a TMJ disorder or TMD), it can cause all kinds of chronic pain and dental problems, many of which people would never associate with the jaw. Fortunately, both Dr. Conklin and Dr. Ward are specially trained to identify and treat these kinds of issues right here in Millersville, so if you’re ready to get the relief you deserve, be sure to contact us today.
A TMD can stem from multiple causes, with the most common being stress, injury, arthritis, or a misalignment of the bite. Determining the exact reason of your TMD will help us figure out which treatment would be best. We’ll test the mobility of your jaw, look at your teeth, and use a variety of diagnostic images to figure out what is causing your discomfort. With this information, we’ll then put together a treatment plan to help you quickly eliminate your pain.
When the teeth do not properly come together when the mouth is closed, this can cause muscle tension in the TMJ, which can lead to all kinds of pain that can radiate throughout the face and jaw. To correct this, we can perform what is called an equilibration/occlusal adjustment. For this, we’ll slightly reshape a few key teeth so they can come together smoothly and allow the jaw to reach its natural resting position.
An occlusal splint is a type of mouthpiece that can also be used to help alleviate TMD-related pain. Each one is custom-made for every patient, and it works by slightly adjusting the jaw so that the TMJ is in a more natural and relaxed position, allowing the muscles and joint to heal themselves. A patient will only need to wear it to bed, and it can even help protect the teeth from unconscious teeth grinding (another common symptom of TMD).
When a patient is suffering from a TMD, they often have to deal with small muscle spasms in the jaw as it is trying to adjust itself, and this is what can cause the pain and teeth grinding that are so prevalent for the condition. With a few strategically placed BOTOX injections, we can stop these spasms and help relieve their associated pain. The procedure itself only takes a few minutes, but the relief it provides can easily last for multiple months.