TMJ Disorder

TMJ (Temporomandibular) Disorders

Does your jaw make clicking or popping noises? Do you have pain in your face, jaw or teeth? Do you have trouble chewing? Do you suffer from tension headaches? Migranes?

Normal Temporomandibular Joint anatomy and function.

Your muscles play a very important role in dentistry. When you experience pain or sensitivity in your teeth, this may be caused by clenching or grinding your teeth. Facial pain and headaches could be the results of tight muscles in your face and jaw.

These symptoms can be caused by problems with your jaw and jaw joints, which are called Temporomandibular Joints, (TMJ) and the surrounding facial muscles that control the chewing and movement of your jaw. This disorder is known as Temporomandibular Disorder – TMD.

Your TMJ is located in front of your ears on either side of your head. The TMJ is the hinge joint that connects your lower jaw to the temporal bone of your skull. Muscles attached to and surrounding the jaw joint control the position and movement of your jaw. These muscles are used in our everyday life, such as talking, eating and yawning.

In summary, TMJ Disorders are painful problems of the jaw muscles and jaw joints.
At Bell Dental Care, Dr. Michael Kokolis specializes in the treatment of TMJ Disorders.

What are the causes of TMD?

The causes of TMD include:

  • – Tight Muscles
  • – Joint Inflammation
  • – Joint Damage
  • – Teeth Grinding (Bruxism – grinding your teeth side to side)
  • – Teeth Clenching (biting down on your teeth)
  • – Loss of Teeth
  • – Malocclusion (when teeth or bite is out of alignment)
  • – Whiplash
  • – Arthritis
  • – Systemic Diseases (Immune Disorders such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, systemic Lupus Erythematosus and electrolyte imbalances)
  • – Disc Displacement
  • – Stress

What are the symptoms of TMD?

Your symptoms may be painful and frustrating. They can be temporary or last for many years. Some symptoms include:

  • – Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • – Locking of the jaw
  • – Limited range of motion
  • – Pain in and around the jaw joints
  • – Headaches
  • – Tooth pain (caused by bruxism)
  • – Dizziness
  • – Earaches or ringing in ears
  • – Pain behind eyes
  • – Jaw, neck or shoulder pain

How is TMD Diagnosed?

Because many other conditions can cause similar symptoms, your dentist will conduct a careful patient history and clinical examination of your head and neck to determine the cause(s) of your TMD symptoms.

Your temporomandibular joints will be examined for:

  • – pain, tension and tenderness of the jaw joints
  • – clicking or popping sounds during jaw movement
  • – locking of the jaw while opening or closing your mouth
  • – limited range of motion
  • – facial muscle function
  • – examine bite

Sometimes a panoramic radiograph or a CT scan will be taken. This full face radiograph allows the dentist to view your entire jaw, TMJ and teeth to make sure other problems are not causing these symptoms.

How is TMD treated?

Treatments for TMD range from simple self-care practices and conservative treatments to injections and surgery, as a last resort.

Your doctor will discuss with you the severity of your TMD, along with the best treatment option(s) for your individual needs.

Oral Appliances for TMD relief

An oral appliance, also known as a bite plate or mouth guard may be recommended by our specialist doctor. It is a custom mouth piece that is worn while you sleep. It is designed to maintain an open, unobstructed airway in the throat by repositioning and holding the jaw and tongue in a slightly forward position.

Our specialists are trained in oral appliance therapy and will tailor your bit plate to your specific needs.

*Custom made oral appliances are more effective than an over-the-counter as they are uniquely deigned for you.

Botox Therapy for TMD relief

Botox is a purified protein that smoothes the muscles by blocking nerve impulses. Botox is used in dentistry for therapeutic and rehabilitative applications to relax the muscles and relieve the pain associated with chronic clenching and grinding of the teeth with TMJ Disorders.

During your consult, your doctor will determine if Botox Therapy for TMJ Disorder is the best treatment option for you.

At Bell Dental Care, Dr. Michael Kokolis is certified in Botox Injections.

How does Botox treatment help my TMD?

The Botox is injected into certain muscles in the head and neck area where the muscles need to be relaxed. Botox injections provide immediate substantial relief.

Is Botox treatment painful?

Any pain felt during Botox treatment for TMD is due to the injections. This slight pain can be minimized by numbing the injection sites with a cold pack or anesthetic cream.

How long is the Botox treatment procedure?

The length of the treatment depends on the number of injection cites determined by your doctor. Even so, treatment may range from 10-30 minutes.

What to expect after Botox treatment?

After Botox treatment, your muscle tenderness will start to disappear almost immediately. There may be mild temporary bruising, numbness or redness around the injection sites.

Every person with TMD is different.

At Bell Dental Care we specialize in treating patients with TMD and personalize treatment to fit your individual needs.

Please contact our office to set up a consultation.