TMD Treatment
Laurel, MT | Billings, MT

get relief from jaw pain

If you have been experiencing jaw pain and discomfort, you could be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD). This condition can cause quite a bit of pain and interfere with your day-to-day life, but with proper treatment from our dentists, you can restore the health of your jaw and eliminate the discomfort of TMJ/TMD. 

Without proper intervention, a TMJ disorder can drastically affect your day-to-day life. The joint can wear down over time, causing persistent discomfort or pain. So, be proactive – schedule an appointment to discuss TMJ treatment options with our caring dentists. Call Stokke Family Dentistry at (406) 628-8211 to get started now!

man rubbing jaw in pain and needs tmd treatment

TMD Symptoms

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) can cause a range of symptoms that affect the jaw joint and surrounding structures. The symptoms can vary in severity and may include:

  • Jaw pain | Persistent or recurring pain in the jaw joint, which may be felt on one or both sides of the face. The pain can be dull, aching, or sharp in nature.
  • Jaw stiffness | Difficulty or discomfort in opening or closing the mouth fully. The jaw may feel tight, and there may be a limited range of motion.
  • Clicking or popping sounds | Clicking, popping, or grating noises may occur when opening or closing the mouth. These sounds can be accompanied by a sensation of the jaw getting stuck or locked temporarily.
  • Jaw joint tenderness | The jaw joint may feel tender or sensitive to touch, particularly in the area in front of the ear.
  • Facial pain | Pain in the face, especially in the temples, cheeks, or around the eyes. This pain may radiate and can be mistaken for sinus or headache-related discomfort.
  • Ear pain | TMD can cause earaches or a feeling of fullness in the ears. Sometimes, there may be no actual ear problems, but the pain can be referred from the jaw joint.
  • Headaches | Recurrent headaches, including tension headaches or migraines, can be associated with TMD. The pain may be located in the temples, forehead, or the back of the head.
  • Neck and shoulder pain | TMD-related muscle tension and referred pain can extend to the neck and shoulders, leading to discomfort and stiffness in these areas.
  • Facial muscle fatigue | Prolonged use of the jaw, such as during chewing or speaking, can result in muscle fatigue and a feeling of facial tiredness.
  • Bite problems | Changes in the way the teeth fit together (occlusion) can occur due to TMD. This may cause difficulty in biting or chewing, and a sense of the teeth not aligning properly.

It’s important to note that not all individuals with TMD experience the same symptoms, and the severity of symptoms can vary. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or suspect you may have TMD, please give us a call right away so we can address your concerns.

tmD causes

TMJ/TMD are terms used to refer to a disorder of the temporomandibular joint. This small, delicate joint is located just below the ear and is responsible for connecting the jaw to the skull. If it becomes inflamed, damaged or malpositioned, it can cause a variety of different symptoms and issues, collectively referred to as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJ/TMD.

TMJ/TMD can have a number of different causes. A few of the most common causes of TMJ/TMD are teeth grinding (bruxism), a malpositioned bite, excessive jaw muscle use (such as chewing gum for multiple hours per day) and inflammatory diseases like arthritis. Each case is different, which is why TMJ/TMD is often considered very difficult to treat.

Myalgia and Myofascial Pain

Myalgia and myofascial pain are two related conditions that are commonly associated with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

Myalgia refers to muscle pain or discomfort, and in the context of TMD, myalgia typically refers to pain and tenderness in the muscles that control jaw movement, such as the temporalis, masseter, and pterygoid muscles.

Myalgia can cause localized pain in the jaw, face, temples, or even radiate to the neck and shoulders. It can be caused by muscle tension, overuse, clenching or grinding of teeth (bruxism), poor posture, stress, or trauma to the jaw joint.

Myofascial pain refers to pain originating from trigger points within the muscle and the surrounding connective tissue (fascia). These trigger points are areas of hyper-irritability within the muscle, which can cause localized pain and referred pain to other areas.

Dr. Stokke is AAFE-certified and specializes in administering Botox by way of trigger point injections to relive pain and other symptoms brought on by TMD.

Image of TMD

TMD Treatment

Orofacial pain can be severe and often falls through the cracks as it is in between medical and dental and patients do not know where to go, however, treatment can be very beneficial. Dr. Stokke will start with a muscle exam, followed by a customized treatment plan, and then treatment.

Here are some of the ways Dr. Stokke might recommend treating your TMD:

  • Botox injections | Takes 10-14 days to kick in and lasts for about 3 months. Patients may need recurring treatment every 3-4 months.
  • Medications | Over-the-counter pain relievers may be recommended or muscle relaxants may be prescribed to relax the jaw muscles and relieve muscle tension.
  • Physical therapy | Jaw exercises or manual therapy techniques, such as massage or mobilization, can be used to alleviate muscle tension and improve joint function.
  • Oral appliances | A mouthguard or night guard, may be recommended to help stabilize the jaw joint, reduce grinding or clenching, and alleviate muscle pain.
  • Dental treatments | Dental adjustments or reshaping of the teeth may be performed to correct an improper bite or dental misalignment that contributes to TMD symptoms. Dental restorations, such as crowns or bridges, may be used to restore damaged teeth and improve bite alignment.
  • Surgery | Surgery is typically considered a last resort for severe cases of TMD that do not respond to conservative treatments. It may involve procedures such as arthroscopy, joint replacement, or joint realignment to correct structural issues within the jaw joint.

Frequently Asked Questions

TMD Treatment Laurel, MT

What are the benefits of using Botox for TMJ?

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a condition that affects the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull. Symptoms of TMJ disorder can include pain, discomfort, and difficulty opening and closing the mouth. Botox has been found to be effective in treating TMJ disorder. Here are some of the benefits of using Botox for TMJ:

  • Pain relief | Botox injections can help alleviate pain associated with TMJ by blocking the release of certain chemicals that transmit pain signals to the brain. This can lead to a significant reduction in discomfort and pain.
  • Reduction in muscle tension | Botox injections can help reduce muscle tension in the jaw, which is often a contributing factor to TMJ disorder. By relaxing the muscles, Botox can help alleviate symptoms such as jaw clenching and grinding.
  • Improved jaw function | By reducing pain and muscle tension, Botox injections can improve jaw function, making it easier to open and close the mouth.
  • Non-invasive treatment | Botox injections are a non-invasive treatment option for TMJ disorder. Unlike surgical procedures, Botox injections require no incisions or anesthesia, and patients can typically resume their normal activities immediately after the procedure.
  • Quick results | Botox injections can provide quick results, with many patients experiencing relief from TMJ symptoms within a few days of treatment.

It’s important to note that Botox is not a permanent solution for TMJ disorder, and additional treatments may be required to maintain the benefits. Additionally, Botox should only be administered by a qualified medical professional with experience in treating TMJ disorder.

If you’re looking for TMJ Botox near you, you’re in the right place! Dr. Stokke has completed extensive training and is AAFE-certified to administer Botox. She is conveniently located right here in Laurel, Montana – so if you have questions about Botox for TMJ, give us a call or schedule your appointment online today!

TMJ surgery is typically considered a last resort for treating temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) after conservative treatments have been exhausted. Surgery is usually recommended only in cases where the patient experiences severe and persistent pain, difficulty with jaw movement, and significant functional limitations despite conservative treatments. Here are some situations where TMJ surgery may be needed:

  • Jaw joint damage | If the TMJ joint is significantly damaged due to injury or trauma, surgery may be required to repair or replace the damaged joint.
  • Jaw misalignment | If the jaw is misaligned, causing pain and discomfort, surgery may be recommended to correct the alignment.
  • Chronic pain | If conservative treatments such as medications, physical therapy, and splints fail to provide relief for chronic pain, surgery may be considered.
  • Degenerative joint disease | In cases of degenerative joint disease, such as osteoarthritis, surgery may be necessary to remove damaged tissue or bone and restore joint function.
  • Disc displacement | If the disc within the TMJ joint becomes displaced and cannot be treated effectively with conservative measures, surgery may be needed to reposition or replace the disc.

It’s important to note that TMJ surgery is a complex procedure that carries risks, and it may not always result in complete pain relief or functional improvement. Patients should consult with a qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeon or TMJ specialist to determine if surgery is the appropriate treatment option for their specific case.

The terms TMD and TMJ are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference between them. TMD stands for temporomandibular disorder, which refers to a group of conditions that affect the jaw joint and the muscles responsible for jaw movement. TMJ, on the other hand, refers to the temporomandibular joint itself.

In other words, TMD is a broad term that encompasses a range of conditions that can affect the TMJ, while TMJ refers specifically to the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull. TMD can cause pain, discomfort, and difficulty with jaw movement, and can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, arthritis, and teeth grinding.

While TMJ is the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull, TMD is a complex condition that involves the muscles, ligaments, and bones in and around the TMJ. TMD can affect the joint’s function and cause pain and discomfort in the surrounding muscles and tissues.

A TMJ dentist is a dental professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Here are some ways a TMJ dentist can help diagnose and treat TMJ disorder:

  • Comprehensive examination | A TMJ dentist will conduct a thorough examination of the patient’s mouth, teeth, and jaw to look for signs of TMJ disorder. This may include checking for muscle tenderness, joint noises, limited jaw movement, and other physical signs.
  • Imaging tests | A TMJ dentist may use imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI to get a better view of the TMJ and surrounding structures.
  • Bite analysis | A TMJ dentist may analyze the patient’s bite to determine if there are any misalignments or other issues that could be contributing to TMJ disorder.
  • Treatment plan | Based on the examination and test results, a TMJ dentist can develop a personalized treatment plan for the patient. This may include a combination of treatments such as physical therapy, medications, oral appliances (such as a splint or night guard), and lifestyle modifications.
  • Continuous monitoring | A TMJ dentist will monitor the patient’s progress throughout treatment, making adjustments as needed to ensure the best possible outcome.

Overall, a TMJ dentist can help diagnose and treat TMJ disorder by conducting a comprehensive examination, using imaging tests as needed, analyzing the patient’s bite, developing a personalized treatment plan, and monitoring the patient’s progress. By taking a comprehensive and individualized approach to treatment, a TMJ dentist can help patients manage TMJ disorder and improve their quality of life.

If you are looking for TMJ treatment near you, you’ve come to the right place! Dr. Stokke is certified, specially trained, and has years of experience helping patients address a range of TMJ conditions. Stokke Family Dentistry is also conveniently located right here in Laurel, Montana. Give us a call or schedule your TMJ consultation online today!

There are several types of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) treatment options available, ranging from conservative measures to more invasive procedures. Here are some of the most common types of TMD treatment options:

  • Lifestyle modifications | Simple lifestyle changes such as eating softer foods, avoiding extreme jaw movements, practicing stress management techniques, and using moist heat or ice packs can help reduce pain and discomfort associated with TMD.
  • Medications | Over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation associated with TMD.
  • Oral appliances | Oral appliances such as splints or night guards can help reduce the impact of teeth grinding or clenching, which can worsen TMD symptoms. These appliances work by repositioning the jaw or cushioning the teeth to reduce stress on the TMJ.
  • Physical therapy | Physical therapy techniques such as massage, stretching, and strengthening exercises can help reduce muscle tension and improve jaw function in patients with TMD.
  • Injections | In some cases, injections of corticosteroids or Botox may be recommended to reduce inflammation and muscle tension in the jaw.
  • Surgery | In rare cases, surgery may be recommended for patients with severe and persistent TMD symptoms. Surgical options may include arthrocentesis (flushing out the joint with sterile fluids), arthroscopy (using a small camera and instruments to make repairs within the joint), or open-joint surgery (more invasive surgery to repair or replace the joint).

Overall, the type of TMD treatment option recommended will depend on your individual symptoms and the severity of your condition. At Stokke Family Dentistry, Dr. Stokke will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs and goals.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer on how to cure TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) as the most effective way to treat TMD will depend on your individual symptoms and their underlying causes. There are several approaches that have been shown to be effective in managing TMD symptoms and improving jaw function. After a thorough evaluation, Dr. Stokke will be happy to discuss your options with you and recommend a treatment plan for your unique case.

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