Tempromandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders
The temporomandibular joints are the flexible hinges on both sides of the face which enable movements of the jaw for speaking, chewing, laughing, and yawning. Disorders of this joint can range from mild to severe. Symptoms may include face and neck pain, ear pain or ringing (tinnitus), headaches, clicking, popping or grating of the jaw when opening or restricted mouth opening. Clenching or grinding of the teeth, also known as bruxism are other issues involving the TMJ.
Causes of TMJ Disorder
- INJURY – to the jaw, muscle, nerves or TMJ
- CLENCHING OR GRINDING – placing pressure on TMJ
- DISLOCATION – of the TMJ disc or soft cushion
- ARTHRITIS – osteo or rheumatoid in the TMJ
- STRESS – emotional or psychological
- DISORDERS – sleep or breathing difficulties
Options for treating TMJ disorders and bruxism will be based on your individual symptoms, complexity of your condition and expected results. Our dentists are able to carry out a full TMJ analysis to determine the most suitable treatment options available for you. Some patients may need to try different treatment methods before relief is achieved including:
- Massage / exercise of the TMJ and muscles
- Pain / anti-inflammatory medication
- Dental treatment / adjustments
- Oral appliance called splints
- Muscle Relaxant injections
- TMJ surgery
Once it has been assessed your bruxism or TMJ pain may be treated with muscle relaxing injections, our dentist will determine the amount of relaxant required.
Using a fine needle, the relaxant is administered into the target muscle reducing the ability of that muscle to contract as forcefully. This reduces the tension on the TMJ and surrounding tissues to alleviate pain and the symptoms of bruxism and TMJ disorders.
This treatment begins to take effect within a few days with full results being felt at around two weeks. Normal facial and jaw movements will still be possible however, a reduction in pain, tension, spasms or other symptoms will have reduced or no longer be present.
Results are temporary but will usually last for several months depending on the individual. Further injections may be required to maintain ongoing relief.
Gummy Smile Injections
A smile where the lips rise up to display an excessive amount of gum tissue is referred to as a gummy smile. By placing injections into the upper lip, the muscles become weaker reducing the lip’s ability to lift as high as it would normally. The result is more enhanced smile without the need for extensive gum surgery and crowns.
Results usually occur within two to fourteen days and last around three or four months. With repeated treatments done over time, results can begin to last longer.