Orthognathic surgery is the field that deals with the treatment of problems occuring in the jaw joint (temporomandibular). The temporomandibular joint connects your lower jaw to the rest of your facial bones. It is part of the functional circuitry that harmoniously controls jaw movements during biting, swallowing, and speaking, along with your teeth and chewing muscles.
The disorders in the temporomandibular joint function may appear with limited mobility and pain. The causes of such functional disorders are diverse (acute or chronic false stress, rheumatic diseases, injuries, tumors). They are treated in different ways (massage, splint therapy, prosthetic/conservative dental treatment, surgical treatment).
What are the Symptoms of Problems in the Jaw Joint?
In many cases, the actual cause of this problem may not be clear. The leading cause is excessive tension in the jaw joints and the muscle group that controls chewing, swallowing, and speech. This may be a result of bruxism. Bruxism is the chronic and involuntary clenching or grinding of the teeth.
However, trauma to the jaw, head, or neck can also cause this problem. Displacement of the jaw joint discs can also cause pain in the jaw joints. However, these are the most common signs and symptoms of jaw joint problems:
- Discomfort or pain in the jaw, generally in the morning,
- Pain radiating to the back of the eyes, face, shoulders, neck, and back,
- Ringing in the ears,
- Hearing clicks in the chin,
- Limited mouth movements
- grinding or clenching of the teeth,
- Sensitivity in the teeth without oral health disease,
- tingling or numbness in the fingers,
- Changes in the way the lower and upper teeth fit together.
What are the Options for Jaw and Joint Treatment?
There are several treatment options we can use to improve the harmony and function of your jaw. Once we confirm the issue in an assessment, we will determine the most appropriate treatment process for you.
Our first goal will be to relieve your muscle spasms and joint pain. For this, we will usually prescribe painkillers, anti-inflammatory or muscle relaxants. Steroids can also be injected directly into the joints to reduce pain and inflammation. Also, some personal treatments that you can do can be very effective for this problem:
- Resting your chin,
- Keeping your teeth apart when you aren’t eating or drinking,
- Consuming soft and medium-hard foods,
- Applying cold to your chin,
- Making your jaw work regularly
- Getting used to a good posture.
Along with all this, we can recommend some stress management techniques depending on your situation, as well as a temporary, clear plastic appliance known as a splint. You will attach them to your upper or lower teeth; in this way, you will keep your teeth separate. These relax your muscles and reduce your pain.
Jaw surgery is considered the last cure. With these procedures, problems in the joints of your jaw can be repaired, repositioned, and in some cases removed and replaced. Jaw joint surgeries are performed under general anesthesia and the recovery time is slightly longer.
There may also be some risks associated with jaw surgery, such as loss of movement in your jaw, scarring, and your body rejecting the artificial joints. For this reason, it is recommended to try the safer options first.
What are the Ways To Reduce Pain in the Jaw Joint?
ü If you tend to experience occasional pain in the joints in your jaw, avoid chewing or biting gum objects such as pens and nails. Don’t consume hard or chewy foods. Support your lower jaw with your hands when you yawn.
- Avoid large bites while eating.
- Massage your chin, cheeks, and temple muscles regularly.
- If you feel spasm, hold the hot water bottle on your chin for a while.
- Maintain good sleeping posture with neck support.
- Avoid squeezing the phone between your shoulder and neck.
- If you’re grinding your teeth at night or constantly clenching your jaw, contact us right away.
Masseter Botox (Botulinum Toxin) Applications
How Does Clenching Teeth Cause Damage To the Body?
Botox application is a procedure applied for oral and jaw health. As a result of the habit of clenching and grinding in the long term, a volume increase can be observed in the masseter muscle, which plays a significant role in chewing. This increase in volume is evident from the outside in some individuals and causes the face shape to turn into a more square form. This volumetric increase in the chewing masseter muscle causes an increase in chewing force in individuals. The increase in chewing troops that isn’t suitable for the physiology of the individual causes tissue damage in the gums, teeth, bones, head, neck muscles, and jaw joints. This tissue damage can cause muscle and joint pain, gingival recession in the mouth, slippage in the teeth, and wear on the hard tissues of the teeth.
When Does the Effect of Botox Application Start?
To reduce these adverse effects, a minimal amount of botulinum toxin is injected into the chewing muscles responsible for the movements that cause the habit of clenching. After application, its effect starts after 4 days, increases progressively, and is completed within 10-12 days. Relaxation in the muscles continues for 4-6 months. Botulinum toxin is also used to treat wrinkle removal, underarm sweating, migraine, and muscle spasm. Botox application, with its commonly known name, weakens the muscles in a controlled manner and reduces clenching force.
What Should Be Considered Before and After Massater Botox?
At least three days before, it is recommended not to use Ginko Biloba, blood thinners, green tea, aspirin, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (rheumatic) drugs and consume alcoholic beverages before botox application. After the application, it is recommended not to massage the area for at least one week.