If you feel constant pain in your jaw, or if you have frequent headaches, you may have a TMJ disorder. A disorder of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can cause a variety of symptoms, such as clicking in the jaw, aches in the head and neck, and difficulty chewing or speaking. It may even cause you to feel like your jaw locks when you open your mouth.
TMJ disorders are usually quite disruptive to people who have them. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available. In this blog, Joseph Yousefian, DMD, of Yousefian Orthodontics for Children, Teens, and Adults explains what can cause TMJ disorders and what some of the treatment options are.
The temporomandibular joint is like a hinge that allows you to open and close your mouth. This joint connects your jaw to your skull, which explains why disorders of this joint can affect so many parts of your face, head, and neck.
It’s not always easy to determine the cause of a TMJ disorder. It’s most common to notice this disorder ages 20-40. Some common causes of TMJ disorders include the following:
The symptoms of TMJ disorders can include the following:
Dr. Yousefian may use certain tests to assist in diagnosing a TMJ disorder, including X-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI.
If the issue is mild, then nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Motrin®) or naproxen sodium (Aleve®) may be able to help. Massaging your jaw may also help.
However, if your symptoms continue to bother you, Dr. Yousefian might recommend other treatment options, such as the following:
You may already be familiar with Botox® as a cosmetic treatment, but it can be quite effective in treating TMJ disorders.
Botox consists of a purified form of a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. By injecting Botox into your facial muscles, it can cause them to relax. This can be especially helpful if your TMJ disorder is caused by stress or clenching your jaw.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy — which uses platelets from your own blood — is designed to stimulate your body’s natural healing capabilities. Platelets contain growth factors, which spur healing and tissue regeneration.
With this treatment, we first draw some blood, like any normal blood draw. Then, we spin the blood in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the other components in your blood. Then we take the resulting serum and inject it into the area that needs healing.
If you have pain in your jaw or suspect that you have a TMJ disorder, Dr. Yousefian can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Yousefian Orthodontics for Children, Teens, and Adults today.