TMJ Treatment

What is TMJ Disorder?

The TMJ is the easiest terminology for your temporomandibular joint. This joint acts like a hinge connecting your skull and jawbone. A TMJ disorder occurs when you experience pain or difficulty in this joint and its surrounding muscles. The operation of the joint combines a hinging and sliding motion. The parts of the TMJ which interact are covered by cartilage. A small disk separates these parts and it provides the smooth movement of the joint by functioning as a shock absorber.

TMJ Disorder can have multiple symptoms. Some of these symptoms are:

  • Tenderness in the jaw and surrounding muscle
  • Pain in the facial muscles
  • Locked TMJ which hinders opening and closing the mouth
  • Difficulty in chewing food
  • Pain in your ear or around it
  • A clicking sound when opening or closing the mouth
  • Pain in the neck or shoulder area
  • Swelling on one side of the face or the other
  • Frequent headaches

What Are The Causes Of TMJ Disorders?

The causes of TMJ can be difficult to determine. Some possible causes include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis of the TMJ
  • An impact injury to the TMJ
  • Bruxism, or grinding/clenching the teeth
  • Tension in the facial muscles due to constant stress
  • A misaligned disk in the TMJ

What Are The Treatment Options For TMJ?

TMJ symptoms will often go away on their own as you rest the joint. You may also find relief through the use of anti-inflammatory pain medications, eating softer foods, and the application of a warm compress to the painful area. If the symptoms do not leave on their own, your dentist may prescribe some additional treatments. He may suggest some muscle stretching or relaxation exercises to help the TMJ relax. In some cases, a night guard may be recommended to prevent teeth grinding and clenching of the jaw bone to ease muscle tension while you sleep.  Your dentist may also offer an option like a cortisone shot to relieve the inflammation. In a rare case, a patient may need to undergo jaw joint replacement surgery.

Don’t suffer any longer with the pain! To restore your jaw health with TMJ treatment, call our office today.