According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, up to 10 million Americans suffer from a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder (usually abbreviated as TMJD or TMD). The temporomandibular joint is what connects the mandible (lower jaw) to the skull, allowing your mouth to open and close. The diagnosis of TMJD is given when there is tension and inflammation in this area, manifesting as face and neck pain as well as a locking of the jaw. Fortunately, there are TMJ treatment in Westchester available today that can provide relief.

What is TMJ treatment?

Many patients try to manage this condition by incorporating things such as painkillers, muscle relaxers, and even cognitive behavioral therapy. Others try to eat softer foods and employ jaw-stretching exercises. While these methods can be helpful, they seldom achieve the results that patients are looking for.

In recent years, more and more doctors are recommending BOTOX injections to combat TMJ. While it is still considered an alternative approach, recent evidence has shown that BOTOX is extremely effective in reducing pain, headaches, jaw tension, and other TMJD symptoms. Patients that take this route usually find that everyday activities such as talking, eating, and swallowing are no longer a source of distress for them.

TMJ Treatment White Plains

Signs of TMJ disorder

TMJ disorder is accompanied by a variety of painful symptoms. The main areas of pain are the face, the ear, the jaw, the mouth, and the temporomandibular joint (the hinge joint between the temporal bone and the lower jaw).

The pain can be intermittent, coming and going, or it can be chronic and severe. Mouth pain includes aching in the teeth, and difficulty when using the mouth for common functions. Joint pain and issues include crackling sounds or popping. You may also experience headaches or muscle spasms.

There are a number of specific, common signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder. These may include the following concerns:

  • Pain or tenderness in your jaw
  • Aching pain in and around your ear
  • Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
  • Pain while talking and swallowing
  • Facial pain and aching
  • Locking of the joint, causing difficulty opening and closing the mouth
  • Clicking sound when chewing or opening the mouth

Diagnosing TMJ Disorder

You can have your TMJ disorder diagnosed during a physical examination with Dr. Reinblatt. She will evaluate your jaw’s range of motion, examine and lightly press on areas around your jaw to identify points of pain, and listen for pops, clicks or other sounds such as grating when you move your jaw. She may have further tests done to provide more information:

  • Dental X-rays to better and more closely examine your jaw and teeth.
  • A CT scan to show more detailed images with the bones in and around the joint.
  • An MRI scan to provide images that may reveal problems with the joint tissues and disk.

In some cases, TMJ arthroscopy is used to diagnose TMJ disorder. During this procedure, Dr. Reinblatt will insert a small, thin tube, called a cannula, into the space where the joint is. A small camera, called an arthroscope, is inserted through the tube. This allows Dr. Reinblatt to see the area more specifically and clearly to determine an exact diagnosis.

How is it performed?

Our BOTOX for TMJ in Westchester is administered directly into the ‘jaw elevator’ muscles. For those with TMJD, these muscles are doing a lot more work than they are supposed to. The BOTOX injections prevent the muscles from overworking themselves. The treatment takes no more than 30 minutes and is usually spread out over a span of several sessions.

What are the benefits?

Anybody struggling with the frustrating symptoms of TMJD will find substantial relief from BOTOX injections. Most find that, once their teeth grinding has stopped, they are now able to speak, chew, and swallow with ease. Naturally, it is also a great investment for dental health, as teeth grinding can have serious medical implications. While there are other options available, most TMJD patients find that nothing is as quick and effective as BOTOX.

Who is an ideal candidate for treatment?

BOTOX has been shown to be a safe treatment for anyone experiencing TMJD or any other form of jaw tension. It is important, however, that prospective patients be open and honest about any medications or drugs that they may be taking. There are certain substances that can react badly with BOTOX, so it is essential to disclose all supplements and pills you’re currently on before proceeding. Allergies should also be reported, as some patients could have a negative reaction to the injections. If a patient is found to be unfit for the procedure, they will be advised on alternative treatments that might accomplish the same goals.

What can I expect from my recovery?

Following your TMJ treatment in White Plains, it is recommended that you use an ice pack or numbing cream, as it is normal for patients to experience a small amount of pain. There can be some redness and bruising at the injection site, as well as some muscle weakness. While it usually takes several days to feel relief, patients can return to their normal activities right away. The only stipulation is that you remain in an upright position for several hours following the procedure to prevent the toxin from spreading to other muscles in the body.

Why choose Dr. Reinblatt?

With over a decade of experience, Dr. Maura Reinblatt is dedicated to providing her patients with the most current and up-to-date procedures. A double board-certified plastic and general surgeon, her credentials include associations with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, as well as residencies at Harvard and UCLA. She prides herself on communicating well with her patients to build trust and to help them achieve the appearance they’ve always dreamed of.

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