All you need to know about TMJ therapy

All you need to know about TMJ therapy

June 1, 2021

Pain and discomfort felt while chewing or talking should not be dismissed or taken lightly. It could be something worse than a coincidence and could require immediate dental care and attention. It could be TMD!

TMJ, short for Temporomandibular Joint is a hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull. This joint is responsible for the up and down and side to side movement of your jaw. It enables you to talk, chew, yawn and do whatever action involves your jaw. Any problem with your jaw and TMJ is called TMD.

TMD, short for Temporomandibular disorder is the feeling of pain and compromised movement of the jaw joint and surrounding muscles. The treatment for TMD is what is known as TMJ therapy.

Causes of TMD.

The main cause of TMD might be hard to determine and might vary in individuals but there are a few known causes of TMD. They include:

Injury. Injury to the jaw, joint or muscles of your head and neck can cause TMD. This can cause severe pain while chewing or talking.

Bruxism. Bruxism is the act of grinding or clenching the teeth habitually. This places an excessive strain on the jaw and the group of muscles controlling it and can lead to TMD.

Other factors causing TMD include heredity(genetic causes) and arthritis. The pain experienced from TMD might also be a combination of these factors.

While you might have had an experience of any of these causes, you might not have TMD. But these causes increase your risk of having TMD, so you should probably get checked for it anyway.

Symptoms of TMD.

The symptoms of Temporomandibular disorder include pain in one or both TMJ, pain and tenderness in your jaw and aching facial pain.

You might also experience difficulty/pain while chewing and difficulty in opening or closing your mouth.

How to know for sure that you have TMD.

If the listed symptoms of TMD persist, you might have to visit a TMJ dentist near you, to get a full diagnosis.

There are a lot of other oral conditions like gum disease, tooth decay, arthritis, etc cause symptoms similar to TMD’s. Nevertheless, you still need to be sure of which condition is causing yours by getting a diagnosis from a dentist near you. To do this, your dentist will ask about your health history and existing oral conditions before performing a physical examination.

A dentist in Pleasant Hill will start by checking your jaw joints for pain or tenderness. Clicks, pop and grating sounds will also be checked while ensuring that your jaws work as they should. Your dentist might take a full-face x-ray, MRI scans and CT scans to know if everything is in place as it should be. Finally, you might be referred to an oral surgeon for further diagnosis, treatment and care.

TMD treatments (TMJ therapy)

There are some common treatments for TMD that just might work for you. They include medication, bite guard and physiotherapy.

Medication for TMD might include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, analgesic, nerve pain medication, muscle relaxant and sedatives. These would help in relieving TMD pains.

Devices used for bite guard therapy and physiotherapy include splinters, dental night guard and prosthodontics.

In case any of these fail to treat your TMD, do not fret as other treatment methods are available and provided by dentists in pleasant hill and all over. Such methods include:

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation(TENS), trigger-point injections, Radio wave therapy, Low-level laser therapy and TMJ massage therapy. These are other methods of TMJ therapy in Pleasant Hill and all professional dental care centres. These treatments aim to eliminate the pain associated with Temporomandibular disorder.

If all of these treatments cannot help you, your dentist might recommend surgery for you as a last resort. There are three types of TMD surgery namely arthrocentesis, arthroscopy and open-joint surgery. The type you need is dependent on your TMD. TMD surgeries should only be done on the recommendation of a dental professional and by a dental professional.