A Quick dive into TMJ /TMD Treatment

A Quick dive into TMJ /TMD Treatment

Nov 01, 2021

A temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull. You have one TMJ on each side of the jaw. You can feel it by touching in front of your ear. The joint may develop pain, a condition known as TMJ disorder. It can be very severe, eventually spreading the pain to neighboring body parts such as the neck and the head.

A temporomandibular disorder (TMD) involves the joint, jaw muscles, and nerves linked to persistent facial pain. The problems cause pain, thus preventing harmony among the complex system of joints, muscles, and bones.

Classifications of TMD

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research classifies TMD into three categories. Interestingly, you can have one or a combination of the different conditions at the same time. They include:

  • Internal derangement of the joint – occurs when you have a dislocated jaw, injured condyle, or displaced disk.
  • Myofascial pain – is the most prevalent form of TMD. It is characterized by pain in the fascia and muscles responsible for controlling the jaw, neck, and shoulder.
  • Degenerative joint disease – is a condition involving arthritis. If you have rheumatoid or osteoarthritis in your jaws, you most likely also have the disease.

Luckily, you do not have to worry if you experience TMD disorder. Wellesley Dental Arts, is a reputable TMJ dental office that offers TMJ treatment professionally.

Causes of TMD

As of now, there isn’t any particular cause of TMD. However, there are some habits and conditions closely linked to the disorder, including:

  • Excessive strain on the jaw joints as a result of swallowing or chewing.
  • Straining the jaw muscles excessively, which may be caused by a dental disorder known as bruxism. Bruxism is the unintentional clenching or grinding of teeth.
  • Trauma to the teeth, jaw, head, or neck. If you experience an injury or an accident, you are likely to experience TMD.
  • Arthritis. If you suffer from certain types of arthritis, you are at a higher risk of developing TMD.
  • Dislocation of jaw joints

In some cases, a condition such as irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, or a severe infection, will often combine with TMD and worsen it. Also, nervous system, sensory, psychological, and genetic factors increase your risk of contracting chronic TMD.

Symptoms of TMD

  • Headaches
  • Prickling pain behind the eyes
  • Jaw discomfort/soreness
  • Jaw locking
  • Minimal mouth motions
  • Ringing ears or earaches
  • Teeth grinding/clenching
  • Teeth sensitivity
  • Numbness of the fingers
  • The imperfect fit of the upper and bottom jaw
  • Dizziness
  • Jaw making sounds

It’s advisable to see a dentist if you experience some of these symptoms. Since some of the symptoms resemble symptoms from other diseases, it is imperative you visit a dentist who can properly diagnose your condition by ruling out other possible infections.

Treatment options for TMD

When choosing an ideal treatment option for you, the dentist considers several factors. They include your age, the estimated time of your condition, your preference, your medical history, overall health, and your responsiveness to certain medications, therapies, or procedures. Treatment options include:

Home-based solutions

  • Temporomandibular joint rest. You can relax the joint by avoiding speaking and chewing as much as possible.
  • Diet changes. You can start eating soft foods and consuming many drinks to rest the jaw muscles.
  • Treat any underlying condition. If you have a primary infection such as arthritis or bruxism, you can first address it then treat TMD.
  • Physical therapy. You can use ice packs and hot packs to relax the muscles. When using the packs, ensure you don’t use them in direct contact with your skin.

Clinical solutions

  • Medicine. The dentist can give you pain-relieving medications to contain the pain.
  • Injections. The doctor may also recommend Botox injections. They are proving efficient in combating TMD.
  • Surgery. If all other treatment options fail, the dentist may recommend surgery for you. It’s very invasive but also very effective when performed by an expert.

Conclusion

Typically, TMJ pain goes away naturally within a couple of days. However, if it does not disappear, watch out for any of the mentioned signs and symptoms. If you note several of them, book an appointment immediately with a TMJ dentist in Wellesley, MA.

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