TMJ, Teeth Grinding, and BOTOX®
If you suffer from jaw pain, headaches, earaches, or a “clicking” or “popping” sound when you open and close your mouth, you may be experiencing symptoms of TMJ (or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder). While grinding your teeth (bruxism) can attribute to TMJ’s development, there are still other varied contributors to the condition, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, and other types of traumas. This jaw disorder can be painful and is different for every patient.
Factors Causing or Exacerbating TMJ Disorders:
Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
Grinding your teeth is far more damaging than you may think. Whether you are grinding your teeth during the day or at night, the long-lasting effects of bruxism can result in jaw pain, TMJ, and the treatment thereafter. Once you wear down the surfaces of your teeth, they typically become uneven. This unevenness inhibits your mouth from closing properly, and further irritates your jaw. If you are concerned about bruxism, or notice unevenness in your bite, please contact our office for a consultation regarding TMJ treatment.
Dr. Palmer is a certified Botox® provider and can use this treatment method to reduce or eliminate TMJ symptoms. Rising in popularity, Botox® is injected into the facial muscles and works to temporarily reduce muscle activity, helping to relieve jaw tension. Botox is considered a non-surgical procedure and patients often report improvements within days of their first treatment. Botox may be your answer to TMJ pain, so contact us today to schedule your consultation.
Occlusal Adjustment, Bite Guards, Bite Splints and Treatments to Help Teeth Grinding
Occlusal adjustment is a TMJ treatment that enables you to have a more even bite. At your visit, our Lansing Dentists will have you bite down on a thin sheet of mylar paper – a color-transferring strip that shows where your teeth are touching. After an evaluation for interferences, Oak Bark Dental’s Dentists will remove a thin amount of tooth surface to ensure proper closing. Upon completion of the procedure, you should be able to close your mouth more comfortably and should notice a reduction of clicking and popping sounds, headaches, and/or excess jaw pain.
Some options to help with teeth grinding or clenching of the jaw can be treated with a bite guard, or bite splint. Like a retainer, but much stronger and customized for your mouth. Our dentists and dental assistants will make you a custom bite guard that can be worn at night to help prevent teeth grinding and prevent jaw pain.
If you are experiencing jaw pain or would like to learn more about TMJ symptoms or treatments, please call our Lansing, MI office at 517.393.4900 today to schedule your visit with our team at Oak Bark Dental!
Technology and Treatments
Treatments for sleep apnea range depending on each patient’s case. Basic treatments, such as losing weight, smoking cessation or sleeping on your side, may help subdue sleep apnea. If none of these treatments work, oral devices can be used to position your lower jaw in a way that can prevent your throat from being blocked.
At our practice, we work with physicians and offer an in-home sleep tests to diagnose sleep apnea.
Myofunctional therapy is an exercise-based therapy. Our dentists like to think of it as physical therapy, only for the muscles of the mouth, tongue and face. Our team can show you specific exercises which are designed specifically to train more effective breathing, speaking, chewing, and swallowing.
With these therapy techniques, you train your body to rest naturally, that can help:
Treat mouth breathing
Change your posture while your lips closed
Change your position while your teeth are closed
Change your tongue muscles when resting against the top of your mouth.
Ultimately, with Myofunctional Therapy, you can transform your appearance, narrowing the arches and lengthening your facial structure to help with overall better breathing and airway control.
Our dentists and team take continuing education classes and courses to stay up-to-date on technology and techniques that allows Oak Bark Dental to assist you with all of your dental health needs.