Northwest Arkansas Family Dental
Fayetteville, AR Dentist

Does TMJ Treatment Hurt?

April 19, 2018
Posted By: Dr. Wade Kifer
Man with Jaw Pain | Northwest Arkansas Family Dental

If you have a painful jaw, the last thing you will want is to have someone poking around or increasing your discomfort. When treated in the early stages of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD or jaw pain), the treatment is typically noninvasive and will relieve or decrease pain within a week or two. We offer treatment of TMD, or painful jaw joints, in our Fayetteville dental office.

Oral Appliance Therapy – Occlusal Splints and Nightguards

Occlusal splints and nightguards are similar oral appliances made of durable acrylic and custom-designed to fit your teeth perfectly with a thin frame and snug comfort. 

While both are typically worn at night, a nightguard is designed to keep teeth from damaging each other during nighttime teeth grinding. 

An occlusal splint also protects teeth during sleep but will be adjusted periodically to gently guide the jaw joints into an orthopedically healthy position. 

Oral appliance therapy is often the first step to relax aggravated and inflamed facial and jaw muscles, which allows the jaw joints to seat properly. 

BOTOX for TMJ Pain Relief and Reducing Muscle Inflammation

One of the challenges of jaw joint treatment is encouraging the muscles to relax enough to allow the jaw joints to function properly with the ball and disc operating in harmony without catching and clicking or locking.

BOTOX® Cosmetic initially provided a nonsurgical solution for reducing wrinkles and lines caused by the expressions on the face. It works by relaxing the underlying muscles that move the skin. Relaxed muscles mean smoother skin and fewer creases.

Since BOTOX® relaxes muscles, it is also helpful in relieving the inflammation and pain associated with powerful jaw muscles. When applied to the affected area, BOTOX® reduces the force that jaw muscles can exert while clenching or grinding the teeth. You can still chew and speak because Dr. Kifer will begin the treatment gradually and adjust it as needed.

Other TMJ treatments include orthodontics, bite balancing, and restoring the bite with tooth-colored restorations, dental implants, and dental bridges.

If you suspect that you have TMJ dysfunction, call our Fayetteville dental office for an evaluation and live life pain-free again.

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