The jaw joints—known as the temporomandibular joints, or TMJs—are the point of contact between the lower jaw and the base of the skull. Each day, these joints are used hundreds to thousands of times, which is why pain in and around the TMJs can have such a negative effect on a person’s wellbeing. In general, pain associated with the TMJs is referred to as temporomandibular dysfunction, or TMD. This pain can be due to degenerative changes in the cartilage and/or disc within the joint, or due to inflammation in the joint capsule or muscles controlling joint movement.
Some patients clench their jaws and grind their teeth during the day or while they are sleeping, which aggravates the jaw muscles—or muscles of mastication—to the point that they are constantly inflamed and hurting. In these cases, Botox injections are used to relieve jaw muscle hyperactivity, and when combined with a properly-fitted nightguard, the cycle of muscle damage and inflammation can be stopped. Botox injections also help to correct facial asymmetry due to imbalanced and bulky jaw muscles.
When the TMJ pain is due to a problem within the joint, a TMJ scope and washing of the joint—known as arthroscopy and arthrocentesis—can help to not only relieve joint pain, but help to better diagnose the source of the pain.
If you suffer from TMJ pain, contact Oxford OMS Centre today for a consultation appointment.
For more information, please visit the following link: https://www.aaoms.org/images/infographics/tmj_and_face_pain.pdf