Treatments for TMJ
The temporomandibular joints, also known as TMJ, are responsible for you being able move your jaw and to open and close your mouth. You have one on either side of your head, connecting your lower jaw to your skull. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your jaw or by your ears, this can be a sign that you have a TMJ disorder.
It’s estimated that over 10 million American’s suffer from TMD (temporomandibular dysfunction), many of whom don’t realize that dentists can provide relief. TMD can often go away on its own, but the dental professionals at Covington Dental Arts will be able to find treatments for TMJ that’s right for you.
What Is TMJ Pain?
Your TMJ should allow you to move your jaw and open and close your mouth with ease. However, if the muscles and ligaments around your TMJ become inflamed, this causes TMJ dysfunction. Any dysfunction of these muscles will result in TMJ pain.The pain resulting from this condition can range from mild to severe.
What Causes TMD?
It’s often difficult to determine the exact cause of TMJ disorders, as there are a wide variety of potential causes. Some of the issues that can cause TMD include:
- Bruxism (grinding or clenching teeth)
- Acute trauma
- Improper bite
- Dislocation of the disc between the ball and socket joint
- Progressive middle ear or bone diseases
In many cases, the pain associated with TMJ disorders goes away on its own and can be relieved through self-care and nonsurgical treatments. However, it’s common for TMJ disorders to interfere with your quality of life. If you’re struggling with TMJ issues, it’s important to seek out the advice of one of the dental professionals at Covington Dental Arts. The sooner you obtain treatments for TMJ, the sooner you can return to life as normal.
Signs And Symptoms
There are many signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders. Common symptoms of TMD include:
- Jaw pain
- Jaw soreness
- Facial pain
- Sore teeth
- Loose teeth
- Pain or pressure in your ears or behind your eyes
- Sinus pressure or pain
- Pain in your neck or shoulders
- Your jaw locking when you try to open or close your mouth
- Swelling of the face
- A clicking or popping sound when you open or close your mouth
- Ringing in your ears
- Difficulty chewing
- Your face feeling tired
- Changes in how your teeth fit together
Treatments for TMJ
If you suspect you have TMD, your dental professional at Covington Dental Arts will conduct an assessment in order to diagnose the source of your pain. This involves examining the movement of your jaw joints, checking your teeth and facial muscles for any tenderness, looking for signs that you’ve been grinding or clenching your teeth, and may even include x-rays, CBCT scans, and MRI scans.
Treatments for TMJ will vary depending on your specific TMD. Some treatment options include:
- Wearing a night guard to prevent/reduce teeth grinding and clenching
- Pain killers
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Relaxation exercises
- Physical therapy
- Eating soft food
- Applying heat or cold packs
- Avoiding extreme jaw movements
There are other more intensive treatments for TMD, in the event that the more traditional ones do not work. These include:
- Trigger-point injections
- Radio wave therapy
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
- Reversible splinting options
- Bite splints
- Surgical bite reconstruction
What To Expect From Your Dentist
When you come to our office, our dentists will conduct a thorough examination in order to properly diagnose your condition and determine the best treatments for TMJ for you. You can expect to answer questions such as:
- When did your symptoms begin?
- Has this happened before?
- What medications or supplements do you take?
- Is your pain constant or does it come and go?
- Does anything trigger the pain?
- Is it difficult to move your jaw normally?
- Does your jaw click or pop when you move it?
Depending on your answers, your dentist may ask additional questions. If you suspect you have TMD, contact us at Covington Dental Arts in Riverton, UT. We will assess your condition and recommend treatments for TMJ to relieve your pain.