Bite Disease Treatment for TMJ Disorder versus Botox

woman sitting in dentist chair holding jaw in pain from TMJ

I am sure a lot of you have seen advertisements or articles on treating TMJ disorder with Botox. While both methods can be used to reduce or eliminate pain, I want to take this opportunity to talk about the differences between the two methods.

Botulinum toxin, known as Botox, is a manufactured injectable medication used therapeutically to reduce the strength of targeted muscle tissue. The FDA approved the use of botulinum toxin as a first line treatment for chronic migraine in February 2011. It takes the toxin approximately 2 hours to bind to the nerve and approximately 2-10 days from injection to exert it’s clinical effect. Re-treatment is most common between 3 to 6 months with a small percentage going considerably longer. Botox is used to treat some symptoms associated with TMJ disorder by injecting the toxin directly into the jaw muscle, thus paralyzing the muscle in order to reduce the pain. This method alleviates or reduces pain by masking the real problem for TMJ disorder, a bad bite.

Changing a bad bite into a neuromuscular or physiologic bite can treat the primary cause of the pain. TMJ is a common term used to describe temperomandibular joint or the jaw joints. When the joints, the muscles of the head and neck and the teeth are not in harmony, pain can develop. Symptoms such as headaches, vertigo, ringing in the ears, jaw pain, neck pain, sensitive teeth, just to list a few, can be associated with TMJ disorder. A bite computer can be used to determine the optimal bite position and an orthotic fabricated to reposition the jaw joints, thus decompressing the joints and alleviating the pain. This method determines the cause of the pain while also providing a solution for symptoms.

Treating TMJ disorder with neuromuscular dentistry or Botox injections for facial cosmetics.

If you or anyone you know would like more information give us a call at 912-264-5550 to schedule an appointment to determine if your face or neck pain may be caused by TMJ disorder and a misaligned bite.

We can get your Bite right!
Dr. Angela Britt

Migraines a symptom of bad bite

woman with fingers at her temples in pain with a migraine

Did you know migraines can be a symptom of a bad bite?

For many people, migraine headaches are a “normal” part of their life. Medications can be used to stop or manage the pain, but the source of the pain is not always determined. Most people don’t think about mentioning headaches or facial muscle pain to their dentist but this type of pain is a common symptom of TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder), also know as TMJ Disorder.

So how does a bad bite fit into this scenario? The position of the jaw joint is determined by how the teeth fit together. If the teeth don’t fit together properly or are not in harmony with the muscles, the muscles and joints accommodate. The misaligned bite often leads to muscles that are in a “tug of war” between teeth coming together thousands of times a day and a relaxed position. This causes fatigue and can lead to headaches.

There are many other symptoms that can be associated with a bad bite. These may include:

  • Jaw joint noise or clicking
  • Limited jaw opening
  • Teeth grinding
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in and around the ear
  • Ringing in the ear
  • Vertigo
  • Numbness radiating down into the arm

By decompressing the TMJ joints and determining an optimal position for the bite, symptoms like the ones listed can be improved and many times, totally eliminated.

Not only does this work for patients with teeth, but the same concept can be used for denture wearers as well.

If you or someone you love is suffering from unexplained headaches, call 912-264-5550 today for a neuromuscular consultation.

Facts on Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and TMJ Disorder

woman in pain holding her jaw

Did you know that patients who are diagnosed with fibromyalgia commonly have temporomandibular joint dysfunction as well? According to research administered by the National Institutes of Health, fibromyalgia patients have a high incidence of TMJ disorder and exhibit classic TMJ symptoms such as clicking or popping sounds during mouth movement, along with facial pain and muscle pain in the head and neck.

Fibromyalgia is a painful and often debilitating disease. For some people the pain can be so intense, it gives sufferers incapacitating migraines. Patients with fibromyalgia typically experience deep, radiating pain throughout their bodies, especially near joints. Those with fibromyalgia can also experience stiffness and difficulty moving. It is common for migraine medications to be prescribed for these symptoms, offering very little or no relief. That is because the headaches and pains are a result of temporomandibular joint disorder, or a misaligned jaw. Other symptoms of a misaligned jaw or bad bite are ringing in the ear, pain in the face, neck shoulder and back, vertigo or dizziness, tingling or numbness in the fingers, ear pain or stuffiness, TMJ pain and migraine or chronic headaches.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) studied the symptoms of 60 male and female patients with fibromyalgia. Nearly 70% of patients experienced facial pain near the TMJs while 35% of the study’s participants reported TMJ disorder symptoms such as difficulty opening the mouth and discomfort when eating. The NIH concluded that patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia should also be tested for TMJ disorder.

Physiologic dentists are trained in dealing with disorders of the jaw, nerves and muscles in the neck and head, and can help in reducing and even eliminating this type of pain. In order to relieve these symptoms, a bite computer called the K7 is used to determine the optimal position for the jaw joints, muscles and teeth. A custom device called an orthotic is designed for placement over the teeth to reposition the jaw and create a balanced bite. This treatment is also indicated for relief of the other symptoms associated with a bad bite. Physiologic treatment for TMJ disorder is nonsurgical and can be life changing!

Schedule a consultation with me to discuss your symptoms and how to become medication and pain free today!