What Is TMJ Treatment and What Causes TMJ Joint Pain?
TMJ treatment is therapy for a condition when your temporomandibular joint causes pain in your jaw joint and the muscles controlling the jaw movement. You might develop TMJ joint pain for various reasons ranging from arthritis or jaw injury, genetics and bruxism. However, many people with bruxism never develop TMJ disorders.
Determining the precise cause of TMJ joint pain is challenging. In most cases, the discomfort associated with the joint is temporary and is relieved by self-managed care and nonsurgical treatments. However, surgery is recommended as a last resort after the failure of conservative methods.
Causes of TMJ joint pain
Your temporomandibular joint combines a hinge action having sliding motions. The bones interacting with the joints are covered with cartilage and separated by a tiny shock-absorbing disk. The movements of the joints are kept smooth by the shock-absorbing disk. You can develop painful TMJ disorders if the disk erodes or moves out of its correct alignment, the joint’s cartilage suffers damage from arthritis, or blows or other impact damages the joint. However, in many cases, the exact causes of TMJ joint pain aren’t clear.
When Must You Seek Medical Attention?
You must seek TMJ treatment in Tampa if you experience persistent pain in your jaw or find it challenging to completely open and close your jaw. Your doctor, dentist, or a TMJ specialist and discuss potential causes of the condition and treatments for your problem.
Diagnosing TMJ Disorders
If you seek treatment for the condition from the dentist in Tampa, the professional will discuss and examine your jaw. They will probably listen and feel your jaw asking you to open and close your mouth, observe your jaw’s range of motion, and press on the areas around your jaw to recognize regions of pain and discomfort.
If the dentist suspects a problem, they recommend dental x-rays to examine your teeth and jaw, CT scans to view detailed images of the bones involved in the joint, and MRI scans to detect problems with the joint’s disk and surrounding soft tissue.
In some cases, dentists recommend TMJ arthroscopy to diagnose TMJ joint pain. During TMJ arthroscopy, a thin tube is inserted into the joint space with an arthroscope to view the area and help with the diagnosis.
Treatment for TMJ Joint Pain
In some cases, you may not require TMJ pain treatment because the joint pain disappears by itself. Unfortunately, if your symptoms persist, your dentist might recommend various treatment options often combined at the same time.
Dentists might start with nonsurgical therapies like medication options that may help relieve the pain associated with TMJ disorders. They might recommend you have:
- Pain Relievers and Anti-Inflammatories: if you cannot find relief from over-the-counter pain medications, your dentist might prescribe more potent pain relievers for a limited time.
- Tricyclic Antidepressants: These medications are generally for depression. However, they also help relieve pain in low doses and control bruxism and sleeplessness.
- Muscle Relaxants: Muscle relaxants are sometimes recommended for a few days or weeks to help relieve the discomfort caused by TMJ disorders from muscle spasms.
Nondrug treatments for TMJ joint pain include:
- Oral Splints Or Mouthguards: People with joint pain often benefit by wearing a soft and firm device inserted over their teeth, although why the appliance provides relief is unknown.
- Physical Therapy: besides exercises to stretch and strengthen jaw muscles, physical therapy treatments might include ultrasound, ice, and moist heat.
- Counseling: Counseling and education might help you understand the factors and behaviors that aggravate your joint pain to enable you to avoid them. For example, you can learn to prevent teeth clenching or grinding, leaning on your chin, or biting your fingernails.
Dentists might also recommend lifestyle and home remedies to overcome the joint pain you experience. For example, they might suggest that you become more aware of the tension-related habits that will cause you to clench your jaw, grind your teeth, or chew complex objects. They might advise you to avoid overusing your jaw muscles by steering clear of sticky foods and stretching and massaging exercises to strengthen your jaw muscles. Heat and cold applied to the side of your face can also help alleviate joint pain.
If you are affected by TMJ joint pain, there is no reason for you to suffer in silence because New Tampa Smiles offers a remedy for this condition. Please contact them today to find relief from TMJ pain.