Treatment of TMJ Disorders


Pointing to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) on a model school

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jawbone to the skull. TMJ disorders often cause discomfort in the cheek, jaw, or ear areas and can affect normal jaw function.


In less severe cases TMJ disorders can be treated with self-managed care (eating soft foods, using ice packs, avoiding extreme jaw movement) or nonsurgical treatments (anti-inflammatory medications, Botox injections, or stabilization splints). In more severe cases, surgical treatments (jaw joint replacements) may be necessary.


Botox® for Migraines


Botox® is approved by Health Canada to treat chronic migraines in adults age 18 or over. When injected, it enters pain fibers that are involved in headaches, blocking the release of chemicals, and thus preventing the activation of pain networks in the brain. Botox® for treatment of migraines is most effective if you get headaches on 15 or more days a month.


TMJ conditions fall into three main categories:


  • Myofacial pain – discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function (grinding teeth can result in this type of TMJ disorder)
  • Internal derangement of the joint – a possible indicator of a displaced disc, dislocated jaw, or injury to the condyle
  • Arthritis – a degenerative inflammatory disorder

Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders are frequently intensified by stress and can include:


  • Headaches
  • Soreness in the cheek or jaw area
  • Pain in or around the ears
  • Facial pain
  • Tight jaws
  • Popping or clicking sounds when opening mouth
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Difficulty chewing