Westfield's Dental Department

Posts for: February, 2017

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
February 14, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: tmj disorders  

If you have chronic jaw joint pain you may have heard of using Botox to relieve discomfort from temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Before you seek out this remedy, though, be sure you know the facts beforehand.

TMD is actually a group of conditions affecting the joints, muscles and overall structures of the jaw. People with TMD often experience sharp pain and reduced range of motion of the jaw joints. Although we don't know the exact causes, we believe stress (accompanied often by teeth grinding habits) is a major factor for many patients.

Treatments run the spectrum from conservative to aggressive. Conservative treatments include cold and heat packs, therapeutic exercises, and muscle pain or relaxant medication. On the more aggressive side, patients undergo surgery to reorient the lower jaw. Most people gain a significant amount of relief from conservative therapies; the results aren't as positive with surgery.

Botox falls on the aggressive side of treatments. Approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration for cosmetic uses, the drug contains botulinum toxin type A, a bacterial toxin that can cause muscle paralysis. It's often injected into facial structures to paralyze small muscles and temporarily “smooth out” wrinkle lines. Only recently has it been proposed to help relieve jaw pain.

The jury, however, is still out on its effectiveness with jaw pain. The double-blind testing performed thus far hasn't produced any relevant clinical results that the injections actually work with TMD.

And there are other complications. Some people injected with Botox encounter pain, bruising or swelling at the injection site, and some have severe headaches afterward. Botox is also a temporary solution, not a permanent cure — you'll need another injection a few months later to maintain the effect. You might even develop antibodies that diminish the drug's effect and require higher subsequent doses to compensate.

This and other concerns should give you pause before seeking out this remedy. The best strategy is to try the traditional treatments first, which are also the least invasive. If there's no significant relief, then talk to us and your physician about other options.

If you would like more information on treatment options for TMD, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Botox Treatment for TMJ Pain.”

Thanks to innovations in modern dentistry, just about any dental problem or concern can be effectively fixed with basic treatments. Here dental proceduresare some of the most common dental procedures offered at Krause Dental, a family dentistry office located in Westfield, IN.

Preventative Procedures
Preventative dentistry is concerned with ensuring that you do not develop any expensive dental problems. Here are a few of the preventative procedures you might consider:

- Professional teeth cleanings.
- Dental sealants to protect the tooth enamel.
- Dental bonding to shore up a weakened tooth.
- Fillings to restore a tooth that has a cavity.

Periodontal Procedures
Gum disease affects as many as half of Americans according to the CDC. It can be treated at most stages with the following therapies offered at this Westfield family dentistry:

- Scaling and root planing to remove plaque and bacteria.
- Bone/gum grafting to create new healthy bone tissue.
- Tooth lengthening surgery to allow for a crown.

Restorative and Cosmetic Dental Procedures
Restorative procedures are necessary when a tooth becomes infected, damaged or becomes weak. Here are some of the most common treatments:

- Root canal therapy to remove diseased tissue from inside of a tooth.
- Crowns to cover a tooth after a root canal or for cosmetic reasons.
- Veneers cover unsightly cosmetic problems.
- Bridges to fill in spaces in the smile.
- Removable dentures to cover exposed gums and restore oral function.
- Dental implants to replace missing teeth permanently.
- Teeth whitening to bleach stains away.

Orthodontic Procedures
When the teeth are out of position an orthodontic procedure may be necessary. Orthodontia involves repositioning and realigning the teeth for a better smile. These are your options:

- Metal or ceramic braces.
- Lingual braces (placed behind the teeth).
- Clear aligners (plastic trays that move the teeth).

Which Procedures Are Right for You?
At Krause Dental you will find out which of these procedures will help you improve your smile. Call (317) 399-9329 today for a consultation with Drs. Kenneth and Katie Krause at their Westfield, IN family dentistry office.