Need TMJ Treatment? Here’s All You Need to Know
Do you feel pain when you are yawning, chewing, or eating? The chances are that your temporomandibular joint is out of sorts. The problem can be debilitating and can interfere with how you perform your daily tasks.
The temporomandibular joint connects your jawbone to the skull. If this joint is not working well, then eating and talking can be an uphill task. The disorder affects women more than men. It is also common in people between the ages of 20 and 40. The good news is that we have TMJ treatment in Sanger, TX, that can help treat the condition.
On either side of your jaw, you have a joint that operates as a sliding hinge. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) links your lower jawbone to your skull and enables you to move your jaw up and down, side to side. You use the temporomandibular joint to talk, eat, and even yawn.
Sometimes there can be a problem with the jaw or the muscles controlling the jaw. If this happens, you can develop a condition referred to as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Some people mistakenly refer to the condition as TMJ.
What Causes TMD?
The disorder is believed to arise from problems affecting the muscles that control the joint. However, most people do not really know the exact cause of the condition.
Here are some of the causes of TMD:
- Poor posture
- Disc erosion in the jaw
- A heavy blow or whiplash to the jaw
- Arthritis in the joint
- Orthodontic braces
- anxiety that causes you to tighten your facial and jaw muscles
- Grinding and clenching your teeth which exerts a lot of pressure on your jaw
- Movement of the disc between the ball and socket of the joint
- Connective tissue disease that affects the muscles in the joint
For some people, the signs can be temporary and will go away after some time. Others can experience the symptoms for a longer time and can even last for several years. One of the most glaring signs you might have is pain. You might also experience the following symptoms:
- Swelling on the side of your face
- A tired feeling in your face
- Uncomfortable bite – you might notice that your lower and upper teeth are not fitting as they should
- Pain around the ear when you are opening your mouth wide, chewing, or speaking
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- Trouble chewing
- Jaws that get stuck in the open or closed position
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds when you open or close your mouth or when chewing
- Pain or tenderness in your face, jaw, neck, or shoulders
However, you might experience the popping sounds without pain or limitation of movement. If this is the case, then you don’t need to look for TMJ treatment near you.
Diagnosis of TMD
During your visit, our dentist will perform a thorough examination of your jaw; this will include:
- Pressing on the areas where you are feeling pain and discomfort
- Observing the range of motion in your jaw
- Listening and feeling your jaw when you open or close your mouth
If our dentist finds any issue with your TMJ, then an additional test will be carried out, such as:
- Dental X-rays to check your jaw and teeth
- A CT scan to get a detailed image of your jawbone
- MRI to see the soft tissue surrounding the jawbone
At times, you can be lucky, and the symptoms varnish on their own. If the symptoms persist, then you may need TMJ treatment in Sanger. Our dentist may recommend:
Our dentist may use any of the following medications, along with other therapies to relieve the pain:
- Muscle relaxants. These drugs can be used for a few weeks to alleviate the pain that is caused by muscle spasms.
- Anti-inflammatories and pain relievers. If the pain cannot be managed by the pain medication you get from the drug store, then our dentist may prescribe more potent pain killers for a limited time.
- Tricyclic antidepressants. These drugs are mainly used to treat depression symptoms; however, they can be used to relieve pain and control bruxism.
Some of the therapies that our dentist may recommend include:
- Physical therapy. A physical therapist can give you massage and stretch techniques that can help strengthen your jaw. Also, ultrasounds can be carried out to see what is making the condition worse.
- Mouthguards or oral splints are also prescribed by our dentist.
At times, the other non-invasive treatment options may not alleviate the pain. Surgery becomes a viable option. Some of the procedures that can be performed are:
- TMJ arthroscopy
- Modified condylotomy
- Open joint surgery
TMD pain can be debilitating. You can get TMJ treatment near you, call our office at The Sanger Dentist, and we would love to help you get better.