Treatments of TMJ Disorder
Do you know, 15 percent of adults in the United States suffer from jaw pain. So, if you are having difficulty in moving your jaw, you are not alone. This jaw pain is called TMD or temp-oro-man-di-bular joint disorder. It might cause a little discomfort in the opening and closing of the mouth, some headaches, and pain in the jaw. Dentists have been using an aggressive method to treat TMD. But, things have changed now.
What’s with the abbreviation, TMJ and TMD?
TMJ is a temporomandibular joint. It’s the hinge that connects your jaws to the skull. And, TMD is a temporomandibular joint disorder, i.e. difficulty in chewing, eating, and sometimes even speaking.
What causes a TMD?
- Excessive teeth clenching
- Malpositioned jaw
- Jaw injury
- Jaw problems from birth
- Joint erosion
- Stress (If you clench your jaw while under stress)
There could be other reasons which are not clear yet. Mostly, it occurs amongst 20 to 45 years old women (more often than not).
How do I know if it’s TMD?
Apart from the difficulty in chewing, and eating, these are the common symptoms of TMD.
- Swollen face (especially near the ears)
- Misalignment of jaws.
- Difficulty in opening mouth wide.
- Facial and neck pain.
- Jaw muscle stiffness.
- Jaw locking or strange sounds when moving the jaw.
- Dizziness and headaches.
- Ear pain and difficulty in hearing.
Treatment of TMJ Pain
There are different types of treatment for TMD. If the pain is intense, your dentist will recommend some treatments and therapies. There are possibilities that your dentist will also prescribe some medications such as pain killers or relaxants.
Traditional treatments for TMD:
- Nightguard – it covers your mouth to prevent clenching of teeth at night time.
- Splint – they serve the same purpose: prevent teeth grinding and aligns the jaw.
- Dental treatments – there are chances that the TMD is caused by the unbalanced jaw. Your dentist might replace your missing tooth to restore your bite.
Advanced treatments for TMD:
If the pain or disorder is severe, you might need some of these treatments.
TENS therapy – it uses low current touches to reduce pain and relax the muscles.
Injections – your dentist might use anesthesia injections on the pain points to lower the pain.
Radio wave therapy – it stimulates jaw joints to ease the pain.
Low level laser therapy – it helps to move your face and neck comfortably.
Surgeries for TMJ disorders:
When nothing works, these surgeries are the last option to treat the disorder.
Arthrocentesis – your dentist might perform minor surgery to get rid of any damaged tissues or disc stuck in the jaw joint. It also helps to unstick the jaw joint.
Arthroscopy – this treatment uses tools that let the dentist take a sneak peek into your mouth. Yes, it’s a bit invasive. But, it helps you get rid of damaged tissues. It also helps in the realignment of jaw joints.
Open-joint surgery – if you don’t want to get an arthroscopy, you can try this surgery. But, this surgery is ideal for patients, if the jawbones are wearing down or you have a joint tumor, or joint bone is severely damaged.
If you are looking for a TMJ expert in Dallas, contact us. We have the best team of dentists to take care of your temporomandibular joint.