The term Temporomandibular Disorder /“TMD” refers to a chronic disorder involving a disturbance of function, structure in the muscles of mastication and/or the temporomandibular joint (the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull). These disorders are characterized by orofacial pain, and displacement of one or both joints, misalignment of the disc, inflammation and bone degeneration, and occlusal disharmony.
In other words, the symptoms of TMD arise from an imbalance or disruption in the MUSCLES, JOINTS and the BITE/TEETH. For chronic sufferers, their quality of life can be greatly affected. Clinically, these symptoms include:
Notwithstanding a history of trauma and certain bone diseases, most TMD pain is not TMJ pain (ie from the joint). Most TMD pain is masticatory muscle pain triggered by occlusal problems in the teeth (teeth position) or noxious habits like grinding and clenching. The resulting pain is due to the hyperactivity of the muscles that support the jaw and can be quite intense.
Therefore, before pain management strategies are implemented, an evaluation of the teeth and TMJ is necessary. Treatments should target achieving muscle and occlusal harmony in order to have a healthy TMJ complex to be effective longterm.
Given that most cases of TMD pain are caused by hyperactive jaw muscles, BOTOX® can be used to weaken or relax these muscles to provide pain relief for a period of up to 6 months. The use of a neuromodulator in the treatment of TMD is relatively new, but appears to be quite effective, especially when used in conjunction with other modalities of treatment, such as occlusal splint therapy, massage therapy, physiotherapy, and the use of oral anti-inflammatories.
For more information about the use of BOTOX® for TMJ pain, please book an appointment.
Dr. Lily Lo is a general and cosmetic dentist trained in the use of BOTOX® Therapeutic for the short term treatment of TMD pain. As well, she can provide occlusal rehabilitation and splint therapy to manage the disorder on a long term basis. An evaluation appointment is required and a consultation fee of $60 is applicable. The fee for the treatment is determined on an individual basis. Patients who have private medical and dental insurance may have some coverage but it is the responsibility of the patient to find out details and to supply claim forms.
Consultation appointments may be booked either at the MD Laser Skin Clinic, or at the Lawrence Avenue Dental clinic located on the ground floor at the same location (Call 416-444-9045).