Botox® for TMJ Treatment Fairfax, VA
How is Botox® used in dentistry?
You probably think of Botox® as a cosmetic “salon” treatment… and it’s true. An injection of Botox® “freezes” facial muscles by inducing a mild, temporary paralysis, popularly used to reduce and prevent wrinkle lines.
However, we’ve discovered an excellent alternative for use in dentistry: Botox® for TMJ disorder.
Botox® is nonsurgical and considered minimally invasive. We simply inject the solution into the facial muscles where soreness or discomfort occurs, bringing much-needed relief to the painful condition. (Although full results can take up to a week, many patients begin to feel effects almost immediately, with total comfort achieved in 1-2 days.)
What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ is the abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint—the connection between the lower jaw (mandible) and the skull. When things are working normally, this joint opens and closes evenly and smoothly. Your teeth and jaw interact with perfect alignment.
Other times, however, things can get a little “out of whack.” TMJ disorders can cause jaw pain, clicking or popping within the joint, and tension headaches. It may be hard to identify the cause of the problem without a professional evaluation, so if you notice these symptoms, contact us today at (703) 520-9985 to schedule an appointment.
What’s Causes TMJ Problems?
TMJ pain is usually just the symptom of an underlying problem. There may be nothing wrong with the joint itself, but it hurts because disruption affects the bite alignment. We call this condition a malocclusion (which literally translates to “bad bite”). Slight differences in opposing teeth can cause them to strike, creating an overall unevenness to your jaw’s alignment. Alternatively, you may be subconsciously clenching or grinding your teeth, either during the day or at night. We call this condition bruxism, and it can have a devastating effect on your tooth enamel and lead to ongoing soreness of the jaw.
What TMJ treatments are available?
Whatever the cause of your TMJ problem, we have the knowledge and resources to ease your pain and correct the issue. As well as Botox® to relieve pain, there are several treatment options (depending on the findings of our examination). The first step is often an occlusal splint—a special mouthguard used to correct the bite and prevent damage from clenching and grinding. The mouthguard, worn at night, relieves the uneven pressure from your jaw, providing effective relief.
Furthermore, if we notice extensive damage to your teeth or areas of pressure due to malocclusion, we can provide an occlusal adjustment. This process involves making slight alterations that reshape your teeth to fit together correctly for a more even bite. We may selectively remove material in the “high points” or build up the tooth and restore damage with restorations such as dental crowns or bridges.
If you have TMJ symptoms and think you might benefit from Botox® or other treatments, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for a consultation!