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If you clench or grind your teeth, wake up with headaches, or tight muscles in your face, you may be experiencing bruxism or TMJ issues. Bruxism is known as the grinding of your teeth and can lead to TMJ, or temporomandibular joint problems. At Chevy Chase Smiles, we offer TMJ treatment and would like to walk you through what to expect from our services if you think you might have TMJ.

First, we will conduct a head and neck examination where we will check the temporomandibular joint by having the patient open and close, open side to side and then open slightly. During this time, the patient can feel any irregularities in the joint, and then we would discuss any habits they may have such as gum chewing or nail biting. Next, a muscle review may be conducted. Because the muscle gets so much use from grinding and clenching the teeth, it may make the face appear square. The muscles should be soft with no discomfort felt when chewing. Lastly, if identified with TMJ, Chevy Chase Smiles offers Botox injections as a potential treatment. Since botulinum toxin is used to reduce the strength of the muscles where injected, it is an excellent treatment.

Botulinum toxins can be used both cosmetically and therapeutically, and at Chevy Chase Smiles, we offer both cosmetic and general dentistry for our patients. In 2002, Botox was approved by the FDA for cosmetic use, and in 2011 it was approved for chronic migraines. As a therapeutic application, Botox takes around four weeks to take complete affect. Options are either provided to start with a high dose and weaning back at subsequent sessions, or with low doses and offering enhancements as needed. Whether one is in need of TMJ treatment or in search of a general or cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Alona Bauer and her team at Chevy Chase Smiles are highly qualified dentists who specialize in providing patients with the best services possible. For more information regarding our services or to schedule a free consultation, please call our office at 301-664-9695.

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