Are You Struggling With TMJ Dysfunction?
February 20, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tmj  

Are you experiencing jaw pain? Are you hearing odd grinding or clicking noises when you open and close your mouth? If so, you could be dealing with a TMJ issue. Fortunately, here at New Hope Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in New Hope, PA, Dr. Dawn Rickert offers BOTOX injectables and other therapies to aid these conditions.

What is TMJ?

Actually, it's an abbreviation for a part of your body. TMJ means temporomandibular joint, and there are two of them, one on each side of your face, under the ears.

These jaw joints are hinges. Besides simply opening and closing your mouth, the joints slide back and forth and side to side, helping you to speak, chew, and swallow. Unfortunately, due to a variety of factors, these joints can malfunction, become stuck open or closed, and be extremely sore/painful.

The American Dental Association (ADA) says these factors contribute to this common oral health issue:

  • Stress
  • Poor dental bite (teeth do not line up properly)
  • Arthritis
  • Teeth clenching and grinding (a habit called bruxism)
  • Injury to the face
  • Being a young middle-aged woman

In fact, 1-800-DENTIST reports a full 90 percent of TMJ patients are women. There may be a link between estrogen levels and development of this painful condition.

How Dr. Rickert Can Help

A review of your symptoms, an X-ray screening, and a simple dental examination can confirm a diagnosis of temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Next, your dentist will formulate a treatment plan to alleviate your discomfort and increase normal joint function for the long-term.

Care plans include conservative measures first—things such as:

  • Over-the-counter ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Warm compresses to the sore jaw
  • Relaxation techniques
  • A soft diet

Other interventions are a bit more complex. For instance, orthodontic care to even out your dental bite or even placement of dental crowns often helps TMJ. Prescription muscle relaxants may be necessary.

Additionally, the team at New Hope Family & Cosmetic Dentistry offers BOTOX injections. BOTOX is a refined form of the botulism protein. When injected into key areas of the face, BOTOX reduces muscular tension and action, relieving both tenderness and spasms. Dr. Rickert can tell you if BOTOX therapy could help your particular case.

Need Relief? Give Us a Call

Dr. Dawn Rickert at New Hope Family & Cosmetic Dentistry offers a wide range of preventive, restorative, and aesthetic dental treatments. If you have TMJ symptoms, please call to ask about BOTOX and other treatments: (215) 862-2525.