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If you have difficulty opening and closing your mouth, as if the hinges connecting the lower jaw to your skull have been dislocated, and you hear a clicking sound when you try to do this, there is a good chance you have TMJ Disorder. TMJ is short for the temporomandibular joints and it is common for them to get misaligned. Fortunately, we have a number of ways to treat this, including a new injectable.
But let’s first review some of the other common symptoms of TMJD (no one has the identical set and you may be experiencing just a couple):
- Sore jaw
- Facial pain or swelling.
- Frequent and intense headaches, even migraines.
- Increased anxiousness not due to other factors.
- Occasional ringing in the ears (not constant, which is known as tinnitus)
- Pain in your neck and shoulders.
- Clenching your teeth unconsciously, even when you sleep
The TMJ is known to be susceptible to a variety of physical and even emotional stresses that may cause it to get out of place. We traditionally have helped patients alleviate the tension around these joints so that they return to their proper position through relaxation training, prescribing a relaxant, providing a special mouthguard that gradually moves the TMJ back to where it should be, doing dental work that improves the overall bite, and referrals for physical therapy.
A 2012 study found that injecting a substance that is known to be safe for beauty treatments significantly decreased TMJ pain and improved its proper movement for at least three months. Another study found that 90% of participants experienced an improvement in the signs of TMJD.
Treatment usually consists of several injections around the face, which cause little discomfort, and an improvement in function is generally reported within a few days. The results usually last 3-4 months.
Call for an appointment today for a dental exam to determine if you may have TMJ Disorder and, if so, the best options for treatment for your case.