For as long as I can remember I’ve been clenching and grinding my teeth. Over the last two years, I’ve sought treatment in terms of Botulinum Toxin injections in my jaw (this helps a lot!) and sleeping with a bite plate. Both have reduced my facial pain substantially, however I do believe completely in combination treatments for the best possible results which is why I was ecstatic to be one of the first patients to try out laser treatments for clenching and grinding …
What did I review?
Laser treatments for TMJD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder which encompasses grinding teeth, clenching and aching of the jaw, headaches, shoulder and neck pain) and tooth sensitivity using the Diode Epic 10 Laser made by Biolase.
Where was it?
Thandar Inc Aesthetic and General Dental Clinic in Rosebank, Johannesburg. Dr Maryam Dawjee, one of the cosmetic dentists at Thandar Inc performed my treatments.
What was my experience?
Even though I’ve experienced a number of laser treatments on my body, I was nervous because I’ve never had a laser so close to my face or in my mouth before. I had no idea what it would feel like, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover it merely felt warm over my face.
My treatments were two-part:
- Laser treatment along my jawline for the TMJ – six treatments in total. Once a week for six weeks.
- And a laser treatment inside the mouth along my gum line for tooth sensitivity – I had three treatments spaced over six weeks. It’s important not to overdo the tooth sensitivity treatments to avoid adverse effects. If improvement is felt, then only only top up treatments over a few months are needed.
What did I think?
After the TMJ treatment, I felt a strange sensation in my jaw, you almost “feel” your muscle. It’s difficult to describe, but you become aware that your muscle is there if that makes sense, but this went away after a few hours. Dr Maryam Dawjee explained this to me as “TMJ causes inflammation in the Temporomandibular joint and the muscles around the area. What the laser offers is low level laser therapy which helps to speed up the inflammatory process and makes it heal faster hence why you feel that sensation”.
What did I like about it?
- Treatments are quick. About 12 minutes for the TMJ and three minutes for the tooth sensitivity.
- TMJ results were relieving and incredibly complimentary to my other TMJ treatments. My headaches caused by clenching reduced as well as my neck and shoulder pain.
- Tooth sensitivity results were instant. My tooth sensitivity was measured by spraying cold air on my teeth before and after treatment. After just 3 minutes of laser on my gums, my tooth sensitivity reduced by nearly 90%. I’m not about to go biting into any ice creams just yet, but brushing my teeth with cold water, or swooshing cool mouthwash in my mouth is no longer a painful experience.
Who is this treatment for?
- For mild to chronic clenchers
- Teeth grinders
- People who suffer from headaches (caused by TMJ)
- People who suffer from facial muscle pain
- People who have a “tight” or painful jaw after extensive dental treatment
- Rheumatoid arthritis in the TM joint
- An ideal alternative for those that don’t want to or are allergic to Botulinum Toxins for TMJ treatment
- People who suffer from tooth sensitivity
What does it cost?
- Consultation and 1st treatmnet – R750. Thereafter, it is R550 per treatment
- You need 5 – 6 treatments for TMJ and 3 – 5 treatments for tooth sensitivity
Anything else you should know?
- This is a great treatment to have on it’s own or to compliment Botulinum Toxin treatments for bruxism (clenching) and using a bite plate (I use mine at night, but should probably also wear it during the day when I’m working as that’s when I catch myself clenching the most.)
- Your results from laser treatments depend on your habits and differ from patient to patient. If you’re a chronic clencher, you may need treatment once a year or every six months.
Get in touch with Thandar Inc:
Phone: 011 788 2701
Address: 28 Bolton Road, Rosebank, Johannesburg