Without signs and symptoms, like aches and pains, you probably wouldn’t notice when something’s wrong with your body. The trouble with TMJ disorder, however, is that its symptoms can mimic the same signs as a myriad of their conditions, many of which aren’t even dental-related. TMJ disorders are dysfunctions involving your jaw’s joints and muscles that result in discomfort and difficulty with jaw movement. They can be caused by a number of factors such as excessive stress, a misaligned bite, or habitual teeth-grinding, to name just a few, and patients can often find relief through the help of TMJ treatment with Botox®.
Understanding TMJ Disorder
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints, which are the two large joints connecting your mandible (lower jaw) to your skull. When perfectly-aligned, the complex joints glide and pivot comfortably; in cases of TMJ disorder, the joints might not move in unison due to an imbalanced bite. For instance, crooked teeth can throw your bite off-balance and force your jaw to compensate when certain teeth meet each other before the rest do. The strain can eventually cause the joints to become inflamed, the disks to become damaged, or the joint to be forced out of alignment. Likewise, habitual teeth-grinding, a common indication of a jaw dysfunction, can place your jaws under exorbitant pressure, as well as damage your teeth.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Besides muscles, ligaments, and bone, your jaw is also controlled by trigeminal nerves—twin, three-branched nerves on either side of your jaw that are largely responsible for its motor functions. The nerves are also the largest of your 12 cranial nerve groups, and account for the majority of sensory input to your nervous system. When your jaw’s nerves are disturbed by a TMJ disorder, the resulting discomfort can include;
- Popping and clicking noises when you bite and chew
- Difficulty fully opening and closing your mouth
- Painful, sore jaw and face muscles
- Chronic headaches, including severe migraines
- Tinnitus (recurring pain and ringing in the ears)
- Stiff, tense muscles in your neck and back
If you experience these or other symptoms that make you believe you may have TMJ disorder, then schedule a consultation as soon as possible to determine the cause and possible solutions to your condition. In many cases, Botox® can help alleviate pressure on the jaw’s joints and eliminate the many symptoms of TMJ disorder.
ABOUT YOUR KATY, TX, COSMETIC BOTOX DENTIST:
Dr. Colin Lathrop and the Lathrop Dental Center proudly welcome patients and families from in and around Katy, TX, including Fulshear, Weston Lakes, Simonton, Richmond, Rosenberg, Brookshire, Wallis, Orchard, and all surrounding communities. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, you can reach our cosmetic dental office in Katy, TX, by calling 832-437-3849.