Understanding TMJ Disorders—Diagnosis and Treatment
Geisler Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery | Lake Oswego, Lake Grove & Portland
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint and refers to the most persistently used joint in the body—the part of your mouth that acts as a hinge, attaching your jawbone to your skull. This joint is responsible for the movement of the lower jaw, and when its muscles and joints are not working in tandem as they were designed to do, problems leading to pain and functional impairment result. Our TMJ allows us to open our mouths and eat, chew, breathe and talk.
What are the causes of TMJ disorders?
- Trauma to jaw
- Erosion, displacement or dislocation of shock-absorbing disks located in jaw
- Grinding (bruxism) and clenching of teeth
- Stress that causes tension in jaw and facial muscles
- Damaged cartilage due to arthritis
What are common symptoms of a TMJ disorder?
TMJ is an umbrella term that covers a variety of issues with the jaw’s joints and muscles, so just as issues vary from patient to patient, so do symptoms. If you suffer from any of the following, please call and set up a consultation with Dr. Geisler today!
- Locking of the jaw
- Clicking or popping of the jaw
- Aching pains around or in the ear
- Pain or tenderness in the jaw
- Difficulty chewing
- Facial pain
- Ringing in the ears
- Headaches or dizziness
Treatments for TMJ
The first step in treating TMJ is determining the possible source of the pain and what factors may be contributing to the affected area. This may sound complex, but we have a variety of cutting-edge tools at hand, including advanced imaging techniques to accurately diagnose and treat your TMJ pain. Our treatments consist of the following:
- Oral Orthotic Devices (bite guards)
- Stress Management: physical therapy and acupuncture
- Relaxation Techniques
- Minimally Invasive Surgery: Arthrocentesis
- Surgical Treatment: corrective jaw surgery
- Botox: Botulinum Toxin A
- Home care: soft foods, warm compresses, OTC medication
Botox for TMJ
Promising new research is suggesting that Botulinum Toxin A may be a helpful aid in the management of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). This group of jaw disorders is characterized by pain and difficulty with moving the jaw and/or joint sounds. Botox is a biologic toxin which temporarily prevents muscle contraction, easing pain caused by overactive muscles in and around the jaw. For management of TMD, Botox is injected into several muscle groups that are involved in moving the jaw. To date, over 24 studies have evaluated the use of Botox for patients suffering from TMD. Regardless of the dose of the medication or the number of injections, all of the studies have shown a decrease in pain, muscle hyperactivity and dysfunction. We believe at GeislerOMS that Botox can be a helpful aid in the management of TMD.
Reviewing this information and meeting with Dr. Geisler is the first step in the right direction for finding relief from this painful disorder. There is a spectrum of treatment options that range from conservative to aggressive, depending on your unique problem and its severity. We look forward to discussing your TMJ disorder and developing the best treatment plan for you! Call us today to set up an evaluation with our friendly team! Lake Grove Office Phone Number 503-534-0114