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TMJ/Headaches

TMJ/Headaches

TMJ

The pain from TMJ disorder can be so intense it can disrupt your life. TMJ disorder sufferers usually wake everyday with some type of pain, typically headaches or migraines, or jaw and orofacial pain. The distraction caused by TMJ can make normal everyday activities seem almost impossible. It can make going to work, taking care of your family, and even eating very difficult. Dr. Slocum understands and wants to help you.

We live in an exciting time in dentistry. There are revolutionary treatments now available to help relieve pain.

Treating TMJ Dysfunction
Researchers discovered that injecting minute amounts of Botox™ into overactive muscles will decrease muscle activity by paralyzing the surrounding muscles, it proved to them that Botox™ can be used for more than reducing wrinkles. It could be used therapeutically. Botox™ injections were found to significantly improve muscle tone and reduces muscle contractions or spasms.

What does this mean for you?
It means you could live without pain! Dr. Slocum uses Botox™ in conjunction with a comprehensive treatment plan to reduce or eliminate your pain. A combination of treatment options means more relief for you. It has been astonishingly effective.

The TMJ is the joint that connects the lower and upper jaw. The TMJ (Temporo-mandibular Joint) is one of the most complex joints in the entire body. It is capable of forward and backward movements, side-to-side movements, and rotations. The term “TMJ” is often used when referring to complications and problems with this joint. Some of the most common symptoms of “TMJ” are:

  • Pain (Myofascial Pain)
  • Limited movement of the lower jaw
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Clicking sounds
  • Muscle spasms

There are many potential causes including clenching or grinding of the teeth, trauma, genetics, auto-immune diseases, low-level infections, genetics, or hormones. Evaluation and diagnosis of these conditions are performed by dentists experienced in TMJ problems and treatments. Some common treatments are Night Guards, Bite Guards, Bite Adjustments, and Botox Therapy. Botox Therapy can be used to alleviate myofascial pain and prevent overdevelopment of facial muscles. Your dentist can guide you to the best treatment available for you.

If you experience any TMJ symptoms or problems, our doctor will be happy to evaluate your situation and offer the best treatment available.

Night Guards
Protect your investment in your mouth. Do you grind your teeth at night? Do you wake up in the morning with a headache or sore jaw? It’s more common than you may think.

You may be suffering from bruxism, or teeth grinding. Individuals who suffer from bruxism may find that a custom-made night guard may help them achieve a better quality of sleep, as well as prevent sore muscles in the jaws. It will help protect from the wear caused by grinding at night, which could cause the thinning of the enamel and be susceptible to decay or fracture over time. The grinding and clenching force is 50% greater during your sleep than when you are awake.

We recommend night guards after extensive cosmetic or restorative dentistry for those who suffer from bruxism or clenching to protect your investment in your oral health.

For TMJ patients, dentists utilize night guards as a means for helping the condition and alleviating some pain and symptoms. Regular use of a night guard has shown that TMJ sufferers can experience fewer TMJ-related headaches, and less jaw popping, clenching, clicking of the jaw, fewer toothaches and less ringing in the ears.

For all night guard wearers including TMJ, bruxism, or clenching an added benefit is that the material used to fabricate these night guards is naturally absorptive to force, reducing the amount of force throughout the head and neck region should the wearer suffer an injury.

Advantages of Customized Night Guards and Bite Guards
Even though night guards are available over the counter at drug stores and retailers near you, there are advantages of getting a custom made night guard made by your dentist. After the dentist takes an accurate impression of your mouth, they will send the impression to the laboratory to make a custom fitting guard. These professional guards will provide the most accurate fit, protect the teeth, and are adjusted to your individual bite.

Individuals who purchase an over-the-counter bite guard that is improperly fitted may not find any relief, their symptoms may worsen, and they may find they develop other complications with prolonged use. These guards are made from inferior materials and will have to be replaced more often than a professional custom fitted guard.

If you are interested in a night or bite guard, your dentist will evaluate your mouth and your symptoms and make a recommendation for the type of guard you may need. The dentist can target specific areas that may need more support for a better bite and make adjustments so your muscles and tissue in and around your mouth will not leave your jaw feeling sore or inflamed.

Night Guard and Sports Guard Care
Proper care is essential for the night guard to be most effective for you. The guard must be thoroughly cleaned with cool soapy water after each use. You will need to regularly inspect the guard for rips, tears, or wear. Always bring your guard to your regular appointments so the dentist can take a look at it to see if it is providing the proper protection for you.