Experiencing pain or discomfort while opening or closing the mouth or hearing clicking or popping sounds while eating are signs of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Though they cause a lot of discomfort, it can be assumed to be something really serious which can’t be treated. Whereas, TMJ disorders can be easily prevented and are even treatable in the majority of cases. There are various treatment options available which include Botox, bite adjustment and surgical intervention. Here is all you need to know about TMJ.

What is Botox?

Botox is a neuromodulator, when injected into the targeted site it freezes the underlying muscles. Buy doing so it reduces the muscle movement.

What can lead to TMJ disorders and how can Botox help?

The pain and discomfort caused by TMJ disorders can be due to various reasons which include teeth grinding, misalignment of the jaw and imbalanced dental bite. Bone degenerative disorders, trauma to the jaw joints and muscle disorders can also lead to TMJ. The sudden pain which you might’ve experienced could be caused when someone forces a bite on a hard object. This can cause injury to the joint. If there is sudden pain in either or both jaws, you should immediately consult a TMJ specialist. This can be prevented or targeted through Botox injection as it freezes the underlying muscles. In turn, it reduces the pain.

How concerning are TMJ disorders?

If left untreated, TMJ can give rise to complications. It can lead to damaged teeth, increased sensitivity, tooth decay and gum diseases. When left untreated for a long time, it can become difficult to eat, which leads to an increase in the risk of malnutrition and generalised weakness. It should not be taken lightly as it can have a long-term impact.

What are the different treatment options available?

There are surgical and non-surgical treatment options that are available.

Non-surgical Treatment: Often TMJ disorders can be temporary. Making simple changes can help to deal with the concerns. Switching to a soft diet will take the pressure off the joint. Do cold and hot compress on the affected area, as it will help to reduce the inflammation. Consuming over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medication can ease the discomfort. Carry out muscle exercises and physical therapy. Using intra-oral appliances can help to restore the jaw’s optimal position and angulation.

Surgical Treatment: When the non-invasive steps don’t help, surgical treatment might be considered. There are various invasive and non-invasive options available:

  1. TMJ Surgery: Jaw realignment surgery is performed when non-surgical options aren’t helpful.
  2. Bite Adjustment: It is often provided to restore the optimal occultation of the teeth. This also helps to overcome teeth grinding.
  3. Botox Therapy: Botox is injected into the jaw to reduce the stress on the TMJ-related muscle. The pressure is reduced by freezing the muscle movement.
  4. Arthrocentesis: During the treatment, fine needles are used to push the liquid into the TMJ. The pressure created by the fluid helps to remove the scar-like tissue. It also removes the substances that cause the inflammation.

Is a stuck jaw caused by TMJ?

When suffering from TMJ, opening and closing the jaw becomes difficult. When one has been suffering from the disorder for a longer period, it hampers TMJ movement. After some time, the jaw begins to get stuck. When this happens, it becomes too difficult to open or close the mouth. It often happens when either one or both of the jaws have been dislocated.