Does your jaw click and pop every time you move it? Has it ever been “stuck” while opening or closing? Have you been to multiple doctors about your persistent headaches, and none of them can figure out what is causing them? Often, these painful symptoms can all be caused by a strained or injured TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects your jaw to the rest of your head. A TMJ disorder, or TMD, is one of the most common causes of chronic jaw, head, and facial pain in the U.S., and it’s something Dr. Steven Feit helps patients overcome every day here in Boca Raton.
While the causes of TMD can be quite wide ranging, the most common tend to be stress, strain, injury to the joint, arthritis, or a misaligned bite. If a patient exhibits or reports any issues that could be TMD, Dr. Feit will use a number of tests and scans to get to the root of the problem. Once he understands what is actually causing the pain, he can offer a patient a number of proven treatment options, including:
Sometimes, a misalignment of the teeth can prevent the bite from coming together properly, meaning that the facial muscles are never able to fully relax. This can lead to tension that soon turns into pain. With an equilibration/occlusal adjustment, Dr. Feit simply reshapes a few key teeth so that they’re able to close correctly, allowing the muscles to reach their natural resting position, which should help any pain go away.
A TENS machine is able to basically give strained TMJ muscles a massage while also increasing blood flow to the area that flushes out inflammatory factors. Two small electrodes are placed right below the ears, and the machine sends short and gentle pulses of electricity that gradually relax the strained muscles and ligaments around the joint. Patients typically experience quite a bit of relief after just one session, though multiple ones may be needed to address symptoms long-term.
Most people know that Botox can help lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the face, but it has also been successfully used as a pain reliever for many years. At our practice, Dr. Feit can administer Botox directly into painful, spasming TMJ muscles in order to provide quick relief. The treatment itself only takes about 10 minutes, but the results can easily last for months at a time.