If you suffer from frequent headaches, earaches, tender muscles in your jaw or face you may have a condition called TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder). TMD is not a specific disease but a condition that affects a large percentage of our population. The condition is related to the jaw joint called the Temporomandibular Joint and the muscles that moved the joint. Symptoms can vary to mild to severe and can ebb and flow in their severity. The good news is there is treatments for this issue, and we offer many of those treatments at our practice.
One condition that can cause TMD symptoms and damage a patient’s teeth is nighttime grinding also called Bruxism. On top of the TMD symptoms patients who aggressively grind, and night may experience unexplained tooth pain, decrease in quality of sleep, and damage to their smile. The most common way to treat this is with a nighttime occlusal guard sometimes referred to as a nightguard.
A night guard is a non-invasive treatment and only takes minutes of the patient’s time. We are set up with the newest 3D scanning and 3D printing technology so many of our appliances we can make completely in house. Your first visit will be a 3d scan of your mouth (no messy impressions) and within 2 business days we will have your night guard printed and ready to deliver. These night guards fit snug enough to your teeth to stay on but not so tight that they are uncomfortable. They are about 5 mm and take up much less space in your mouth than an over the counting nightguard.
Botox and Xeomin are safe injectables that effectively block some (but not all) of the nerve impulses to the facial muscles. Two of the major muscles in biting down are the masseter and temporalis. They contract with forces that far exceed our need to chew. When these muscles over contract or spasm the results can be pain in the muscles, the teeth, and referred pain to other areas of the face, head, and neck.
Injections into the masseter and temporalis slow down these contractions and alleviate pain. Many patients wake up the day after their injections with a significant reduction in symptoms. This treatment results in an improvement in quality of life.
Some TMD conditions may progress to a point that a conventional nightguard and Botox are insufficient. In these situations, a more specific and calibrated occlusal device will need to be made. These devices require more chair time and are more expensive than the traditional nightguards. We may also refer you to one of our fantastic physical or massage therapists in the area if your condition deems it necessary.
Contact Taylor Drive Dental Care today to discuss TMD therapy or to schedule your appointment!