TMJ Treatment Calgary
InLine Orthodontics, Calgary, is your trusted partner in orthodontic treatment and care, including TMJ treatment.
The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)
Understanding TMJ Disorder
TMJ Disorder (temporomandibular joint disorder) is a common but often misunderstood condition. This disorder can arise due to various factors, including jaw or facial injuries, arthritis, or genetics, affecting the natural function of the TMJ.
Common signs include persistent jaw pain, facial pain, limited range of movement, sleep apnea, headaches, neck or shoulder pain, and even a clicking sound in your jaw.
TMJ disorders can be mild but can lead to more severe, debilitating pain if left untreated. Untreated TMJ Disorder can lead to more severe issues such as chronic jaw pain, earaches, and potential long-term damage to the joint itself.
Certain individuals are more likely to develop TMJ Disorder. Some risk factors include chronic grinding or clenching of teeth, certain types of arthritis, jaw injuries, and even specific connective tissue diseases. Being aware of these risk factors can help in early detection and treatment.
TMJ and Headaches
The elusive TMJ disorder, while primarily a jaw condition, has a knack for projecting its influence far and wide across your body. TMJ symptoms often trigger headaches, creating a surprising, yet significant link between TMJ and various forms of cranial discomfort.
Tension Headaches are the most frequent types of headaches associated with TMJ. It’s as if your skull is in a tight squeeze, experiencing a dull, persistent ache, all thanks to the muscle tension that travels from your jaw to your skull.
Then we have the Referred Pain Headaches – the masters of disguise. This headache type is, in reality, severe jaw pain masquerading as a headache. Deceptive, isn’t it? This misleading pain significantly adds to the challenge of diagnosing TMJ pain accurately.
And let’s not forget the Migraine-like Headaches, where the link between migraines and TMJ gets intriguingly complex. Overstimulation of the trigeminal nerve, closely entwined with your jaw muscles, can potentially lead to migraines.
TMJ and Ear Pain
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder also often causes baffling ear pain. Symptoms range from a feeling of fullness in the ear, sharp pains in various ear areas, a dull ache, or even symptoms that mimic an ear infection.
Though ear pain is a common companion to TMJ, it’s important to remember that many other issues, like infections of the ear, throat, or tooth, ear wax, and other facial pain conditions, can cause similar discomfort. This is why a professional assessment is important to rule out these causes and pinpoint TMJ as the true culprit.
TMJ and Bruxism: A Grinding Relationship
The connection between TMJ and Bruxism – the unconscious grinding or clenching of teeth – is like a seesaw. Sometimes, Bruxism causes TMJ and other times, TMJ disorder itself nudges you towards teeth grinding.
The relentless teeth grinding, especially during your peaceful slumber, puts an excessive amount of stress on your jaw joints. It’s like running a marathon, for your jaw – but without any of the health benefits.
Moreover, it wears down the precious enamel protecting your teeth, leaving them vulnerable to decay and sensitivity. Addressing this grinding issue is an integral part of protecting your teeth from wear and tear and managing TMJ disorder effectively.
Diagnosis of TMJ Disorder at InLine Orthodontics
At InLine Orthodontics, we take TMJ symptoms and proper TMJ diagnosis seriously. Our expert team of orthodontists in Calgary conducts thorough physical examinations and uses advanced imaging tests to accurately diagnose TMJ Disorder.
We believe in the importance of understanding your symptoms and lifestyle, as they often provide crucial insights into your condition.
TMJ Treatment Options at InLine Orthodontics
Our TMJ treatment strategies are designed to cater to the unique needs of each patient. Treatment options include the use of orthodontic appliances to correct bite issues and alleviate pressure on the jaw muscles, alongside lifestyle modifications and home remedies. Our approach is comprehensive, ensuring maximum TMJ pain relief and optimal results.
Your journey to TMJ recovery could start with a humble nighttime grinding appliance. This unique device, often called a night guard or mouth guard, is like a protective shield for your jaw during those tranquil night hours.
It works by cushioning your teeth and jaw joints, protecting them from the damaging effects of nighttime grinding and clenching.
As your journey progresses, a daytime oral appliance might become your trusty ally. These custom-made devices work to correct an unhealthy or misaligned bite, which can often be a leading cause of TMJ disorder.
By gently guiding your teeth into more favourable positions, they alleviate undue stress on your jaw and reduce painful symptoms of TMJ.
Physical therapy offers a non-invasive path to TMJ relief, acting as a personal trainer for your jaw. Through targeted exercises and manipulations, it strengthens your jaw muscles and increases flexibility, fostering healthier jaw movement. Physical therapy is often accompanied by other TMJ treatments.
Neuromodulators, like Botox and Dysport, are powerful agents that work by reducing excessive muscle contractions, bringing much-needed relief to the jaw and facial muscles.
Botox is administered through injections to specific muscles of the jaw, reducing their ability to engage in intense, often unconscious contractions. This procedure can offer TMJ pain relief and is a highly sought-after treatment for those who deal with the chronic pain of TMJ.
This is an advanced treatment option and is considered when other conservative measures do not yield the desired relief.