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, our dentist is trained to identify and treat these kinds of issues with TMJ therapy in Millersville, MD, 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.
Dr. Tran and our team are eager to help you find long-lasting relief from your TMD pain. Before you book your consultation, though, you might be curious about the road ahead. What can you expect with treatment? To help you in your quest to gather information, we have compiled a list of answers to some FAQs about TMJ therapy. If your specific questions are not addressed here, reach out to us directly so we can personally assist you.
TMJ treatment is extremely low-risk. In fact, therapies like occlusal adjustments and splints have consistently been shown to be safe. Other approaches, such as surgery, carry higher risks. As long as you entrust your care to a qualified medical/dental team, though, you can be confident that your treatment will be handled in the safest, most responsible manner possible.
The duration of your TMJ treatment will depend on which therapy you undergo and other unique details of your case.
Some remedies, such as medications and exercises, can provide fast pain relief. However, since they do not address the underlying cause of the TMD, the benefits they provide are temporary at best.
We strive to address the root cause behind our patients’ pain. We might direct you to wear an occlusal splint for several weeks to several months. An occlusal adjustment may provide relatively fast relief. BOTOX can take anywhere from a day or two to a couple of weeks to produce noticeable results.
We strive to make treatment as comfortable as possible for our patients. When we perform occlusal adjustments, we first focus on slightly modifying any crowns or other restorations that you have; we only modify your natural dentition if absolutely necessary. Depending on the specifics of your case, we might numb your mouth during your appointment. That is not always necessary, though.
Your mouth might be sore for a few days after an occlusal adjustment. However, any discomfort should wear off fairly quickly.
The price of TMJ treatment depends on the details of your therapy plan. The less your treatment involves, the less it will cost. For example, BOTOX injections are much more affordable than major jaw surgery.
During your consultation, we will be able to discuss specific numbers with you. We can also help you learn about provisions that might make your care easier to afford, including financing and insurance.
Remember that even if your treatment seems a bit expensive, the pain relief it can bring will be truly priceless.