Splint Appliance Therapy
One of the treatments for a temporomandibular joint disorder is splint appliance therapy. Splint therapy is designed to help specific TMD symptoms. The purpose of the splint is both therapeutic and diagnostic.
- Decrease symptoms
- Increase chewing strength
- Improve and stabilize muscle and jaw function
Myofascial Pain and Local Anesthetic Trigger Point Injections
Myofascial pain is a specific muscle pain diagnosis that can create pain symptoms that can include jaw joint area pain, tooth pain and headache. Local anesthetic trigger point injections or neuromodulators (e.g. Botox®) can be useful in treating myofacial pain.
For more information see Dr. Norman Thie’s publication “Myofacial Pain March 2009” published for the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association.
Temporomandibular Joint Steroid Injections
Unfortunately the temporomandibular joint can be affected by degenerative processes like osteoarthritis. In very rare circumstances steroid injections may be required for pain control. Please note: multiple injections are not recommended since this may be harmful to the structures of the joint. Therefore, anti-inflammatory injections in the TMJ are used in only selected cases.
Dental Treatment for Snoring/Sleep Apnea
Snoring can seriously affect quality of life – both for the person who snores and for their sleep partner. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the airway completely collapses and blocks the airflow into the lungs. Untreated OSA has been linked to many health disorders. The Sleep Apnea Appliance holds the lower jaw in a forward position so that it does not shift or fall open during the night. This prevents the airway from collapsing.
For more information on dental treatment for sleep apnea and snoring, see Dr. Norman Thie’s article “Snoring – When it’s more than Annoying” published for the Family Health magazine – Spring 2010.