Do you suffer with chronic jaw pain or sore and stiff muscles in your face? It is likely that you have a TMJ disorder.
What is a TMJ disorder?
TMJ stands for "temporomandibular joint", which is the jaw joint that connects the mandible – the bone of the lower jaw – to the temporal bone at each side of the skull. These joints interact with a complex system of muscles, ligaments, and bones, to enable jaw movements for chewing, speaking, swallowing, yawning, and so on.
Reasons why someone might develop TMJ can include a wide variety of causes including misalignment of the teeth or jaw, poor posture, gum chewing, teeth grinding, stress, or arthritis. The main causes are injury to the jaw, inflammation, or overuse.
Symptomsof TMJ disorderrange from mild to debilitating, and can include:
* Pain in the jaw and surrounding muscles
* Grinding, clicking, and popping of the jaw
* Jaw muscle stiffness
* Headaches and neck aches
* Earaches/Pain near the ear
* Locking of the jaw/Difficulty opening & closing the mouth
TMJis very experienced in treating TMJ disorders.
Relief of pain is the immediate objective of your TMJ specialist. He or she may administer pain medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, or muscle relaxants. It is also possible to lower the pain and reduce inflammation by injecting steroids into the joint.
It is necessary and important to learn the root cause of your TMJ and create a plan to treat these causes. Only then can improper wear of the teeth, imbalance, and pain in joints and muscles be relieved/restored to normal.
Once the condition is diagnosed, we will determine the best course of treatment with which to move forward. There are three main steps involved in treating TMJ, including:
* Pain relief
* Bite stabilization
* Correcting bite position
Our technicians work within the set regulations of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) when the situation entails treating TMJ disorder. Your treatment will not create irreversible changes in your teeth and jaw.
After a complete examination, your doctor may advise a combination of treatment options intended to diminish pain and joint deterioration, including:
* Repositioning splints and or ofacial myofunctional therapy
* Physical therapy
* Bite adjustment
* Reconstructive practices
* Gentle jaw muscle stretching and relaxation exercises
* Anti-inflammatory OTC drugs or prescription medications
* Stress reduction techniques
* Home remedies including warm compresses and ice packs
* TMJ Surgery
* Arthrocentesis, also known as joint aspiration
* Orthodontic remedies
* Jaw replacement as a last resort
For questions or to schedule an appointment, please call us at 909-979-6855.