TMJ TREATMENT AN OVERVIEW
Dr. Brent Engelberg provides comprehensive dental services in Arlington Heights, including diagnosis and treatment for complex adult dental problems such as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Commonly called TMJ, a TMD can have a variety of causes, most of which are related to an imbalance in the bite, which puts undue pressure on the jaw joints.
TMJ often results in pain, headaches, and clicking or popping of the jaw point. TMJ can also lead to teeth grinding and/or clenching which can cause damage to the teeth and gums over time. Dr. Brent Engelberg provides TMJ treatment options to patients who suffer from TMJ disorders.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF TMJ
In almost all cases, a TMJ disorder will cause tooth wear and may contribute to tooth decay and/or (gum) disease. Common TMJ Symptoms include:
- Teeth grinding or clenching, often characterized by tooth wear
- Frequent headaches
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Limited mobility in the jaw
- Clicking or popping when opening or closing the jaw
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR TMJ DISORDERS?
Dr. Engelberg will evaluate all aspects of your occlusal system during a thorough dental exam to determine the cause of your bite problem and appropriate treatment. Using BioJVA™ joint analysis technology, Dr. Engelberg can identify an imbalance in the bite and stress in the jaw joints, using this information to personalize your treatment and ensure that your results will provide a lasting, comfortable smile.
Dr. Basko and Dr. Engelberg have received training from the American Academy of Facial Esthetics to help address TMJ pain and symptoms using Botox Therapeutic injections. Botox® is a non-invasive and non-surgical treatment option for TMJ. Botox targets specific muscles to help them relax and reduce jaw pain. This process can also temporarily lower the amount of TMJ-related headaches. Results typically last about six months. For your convenience, you can receive your Botox touch-ups during your bi-annual dental check-ups.
Mouthguard and Splint Therapy
Dr. Engelberg recommends using a mouthguard or dental splint to alleviate specific symptoms of TMJ disorder for patients with mild to moderate issues. A mouthguard or splint is often the first step, used early in treatment and not needed as a long-term solution. A dental split can be helpful to help identify a comfortable and stable bite position.
Bite Correction Therapy
This process is a series of adjustments made to the teeth which may include:
- Removing tooth structure
- Applying dental crowns or porcelain veneers
- Orthodontic treatment
- Implant dentistry
If the teeth are not in proper position, orthodontics may need to reposition them, allowing them to fit together harmoniously. Dr. Engelberg is a Chicago Invisalign provider. He may recommend this orthodontic treatment option when appropriate for restoring balance to the bite and supporting long-term dental health.
In cases where teeth have been significantly worn and damaged, restorative dentistry may be needed to bring the teeth back to their proper health and beauty. Dr. Engelberg may use dental crowns, porcelain veneers, or cosmetic tooth bonding to restore teeth and create proper contact.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long does it take for TMJ to go away?
TMJ takes about three weeks to begin to go away with treatment. TMJ can be reoccurring, and symptoms can reappear for years. This is dependent on the causation and severity of the case. Stress is known to bring TMJ symptoms and pain back.
Can you pop your TMJ jaw back into place?
Dentists can pop a patient’s jaw with TMJ back into the place. You should not attempt to do this at home. Dentists do this by putting their thumbs on your furthest lower back teeth and their other fingers around your lower jaw. By pressing on the back teeth, and pushing the patient’s chin upward, jaw joints move back into their natural place.
How do you relax your jaw with TMJ?
Patients can do some jaw exercises to relax their jaw with TMJ. Repeatedly open your mouth and closing it in small motions can help warm your jaw up to more motion. Placing your fingers on your bottom teeth and press down until you feel your jaw become tight. Holding this for 30 seconds and then releasing your jaw back to its natural position can help patients relax their jaw with TMJ.
How can Botox treat bruxism?
Patients who experience bruxism, or teeth clenching and grinding, also experience jaw and facial pain. Botox is an injectable neurotoxin that can relax facial and jaw muscles. When we inject Botox into the muscles, it temporarily freezes them, meaning patients will not feel pain or soreness from their tense muscles. Botox treatment can ease pain from bruxism by releasing muscle tension.
What are at-home treatments for TMJ flare-ups?
Protecting your teeth and TMJ when you have a flare-up is important. At home, you can minimize discomfort from a TMJ flare-up by:
- Using hot and cold compresses to relieve pain in your jaw joints and muscles
- Not opening your mouth too wide when you yawn or talk
- Eating soft foods to prevent pain or jaw popping and clicking when you bite and chew
What causes TMJ flare-ups?
TMJ symptoms can reoccur due to:
- Eating hard or crunchy foods
- Jaw injuries
- Poor posture
- Teeth clenching and grinding
Take note of what triggers your TMD, and take steps to relieve your pain and discomfort. Call our office for a custom-made nightguard, Botox treatment, or other TMJ therapy if you need professional care.