About TMJ Treatment
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is vulnerable to develop anomalies. Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) forms the common term used for various problems related to face and jaw muscles. The most common reason of such conditions is bruxism. Bruxism refers to the excessive jaw clenching or grinding of teeth. Bruxism is usually harmful and consistent teeth grinding can create significant complications. If you are in the habit of grinding your teeth, then it is likely that you may develop TMJ. Our doctors at Cardinal Park Family Dental Care offer effective dental services for the prevention and control of TMJ.
TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint that connects the jawbone to the skull. It forms a part of the bruxism and may lead to developing TMJ disorders. Bruxism is not the only cause of TMJ, but it also occurs due to certain jaw injuries or diseases like arthritis. Bruxism, however, remains the major reason for TMJ disorders. The symptoms include soreness near the ear, aches in jawline and face, jaw tenderness, painful sensations when you lock the joint or it feels difficult to open or close the mouth, and feeling of pain while chewing.
What’s TMJ Treatment?
Most of the time, the symptoms of TMJ do not require any treatment. However, if your symptoms and pain persists, then you must consult with a dentist. There are multiple options used to treat TMJ such as medications, which can help relieve your pain. Anti-inflammatories and pain relievers are used to relieve TMJ pain, but your dentist may prescribe stronger pain relievers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, mainstay treatment, and ibuprofen). Muscle relaxants are also used to treat TMJ. Patients are suggested to use these drugs for a few days or weeks to relieve the pain.
The other mode of treatment is through therapies, which are a non-drug methods. Occlusal appliances are often used for people complaining of jaw pain. They are provided with a soft device which they gain benefit from through inserting them over their teeth. Treatments for physical therapy includes ultrasound, ice, and moist heat. The condition is improved through prescribing different exercises to strengthen jaw muscles. Counseling is another method that is specifically provided to help patients. Counseling helps you understand the different symptoms and factors responsible for aggravating pain and other behavioral issues. This treatment is used to help you avoid such issues like the act of teeth clenching or grinding, fingernail biting, and leaning on the chin may increase pain.
Surgery is also an option for more serious cases.The surgery is arthroscopic and is used to treat the different types of TMJ disorders; the surgery is done as open-joint surgery.There are a variety of surgical procedures used for TMJ patients. Arthrocentesis is a minimally invasive procedure where small needles are inserted into the joint to irrigate the fluid for removing debris and the inflammatory byproducts. Corticosteroid or Botox injections are other options, which is inserted into the jaw muscles to relieve TMJ associated disorders.
Another method of treatment is the modified condylotomy. This is an indirect surgery since the mandible is treated and not the joint itself. If the pain persists and is not relieved with the above-mentioned treatments, then this indicates a serious structural problem in the joint. In this case, an open-joint surgery is performed to replace or repair the joint.
TMJ refers to a group of conditions related to pain and dysfunction of the muscles and jaw joint responsible for controlling the jaw movement. The disease is very common and a number people have TMJ symptoms. As a TMJ patient, you may experience a number of symptoms like pain in the jaw joint areas and chewing muscles, which is the most common symptom. The other common symptoms include pain in the neck, face, and jaw, the stiffness of the jaw muscles, pain in jaw locking or limited movement, painful grating or popping in the jaw joint as the person opens and closes the mouth, and loss of comfort as the upper and the lower teeth fit together.
Does TMJ Go Away?
The majority of people do not pay attention towards pain in jaw or muscles and consider it only a passive issue. The TMJ related pain may be temporary and occasional, occurring in events or cycles. Most of the time, the TMJ related discomfort goes away through a treatment plan based on diagnosis. Patients are evaluated based on their specific needs. Treatments vulnerable to create permanent jaw changes are avoided. It is possible that long-term symptoms will get developed. TMJ can go away if the proper care and treatment are provided along with deliberate control of personal habits. It takes usually less than a month to alleviate some symptoms. However, if the case involves arthritis or severe bruxism, it may take a significantly longer time.
When TMJ is Serious
Most of the time, TMJ is not serious. The symptoms and pain can be mitigated with an effective treatment and care plan. It, can form a serious condition if the underlying reason is physical like a misalignment of bite or damage to the jaw joint. In this case, surgery and dental procedures are the preferable process to address the condition. It is highly recommended that you consider preventive dentistry to avoid the development of such problems.
Schedule Your Next Appointment Today
If you are suffering from TMJ or related pain, then don’t delay and contact us at our family dental clinic in Leesburg at 703-779-2296. You can reserve a visit or counseling session with us by filling out the online contact form available at the Contact Us page. In case of emergency, you may directly visit our dental office at 2 Cardinal Park Drive, Suite 204A Leesburg, VA 20175 where we are always ready to help our patients.