Common Treatments for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Common Treatments for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

June 1, 2021

Joint disorders can be painful and irritating. A joint is the connecting point of two or more bones. Stiffness or swelling of the joint can cause imparity in movement. The knee, shoulder, elbows, or wrist are some of the most common joints in the human body. Over time the joints can become severely damaged due to excessive movement. Other reasons for joint pain can be arthritis or trauma.

What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?

Depending on the position in the human body, the joints perform various functions. The temporomandibular joints act as a sliding hinge and connect the jawbones with the skull on either side of the mouth, below the ears. The temporomandibular joints are a bilateral synovial articulation between the skull’s temporal bone and the mandible, which is placed below. Thus, the temporomandibular joints derive its name from the two bones that it connects.

Dysfunction of the temporomandibular joints is known as a temporomandibular joint disorder associated with pain, difficulties in chewing food, and even in talking. The exact reason for TMJ is yet to be ascertained, but it can be due to a combination of factors as arthritis, genetic disorder, or trauma to the jaws. Bruxism or grinding the teeth can also be another reason for TMJ.

In most cases, the TMJ is temporary and can be treated by non-surgical treatments. Often specific self-help techniques can relieve the pain. Surgery is the last resort for treating TMJ. TMJ treatment in Houston, TX, also starts with exercises of the jaws.

The doctors and dentists pay heed to the symptoms experienced. The typical symptoms of TMJ are:

  • Problem while opening the mouth widely.
  • Pain, tenderness, swelling in the jaws, neck, shoulders, and in the areas around the ears.
  • The jaws getting locked or stuck while opening or closing.
  • Popping or clicking sound in the jaws while opening or closing the mouth.
  • Fatigued feeling in the oral cavity.
  • A suddenly uncomfortable bite or trouble in chewing the food.
  • Swelling on either or both sides of the face.

Once the doctor finds these symptoms, a thorough study of your oral history is done by the dentist along with a physical examination. These symptoms are identical with that for oral cavities or gum disease, so an X-ray of the oral cavity can also be essential.

Computer tomography or magnetic resonance imaging can be done in advanced stages to get a clear image of the temporomandibular joints. The TMJ disc has to be in position as the jaw moves.

The Treatment

Dentists prescribe nonsteroidal drugs to alleviate the pain and reduce inflammation. You may also take over-the-counter medications. In most cases, temporomandibular joint disorders are temporary, and muscle relaxants can heal. While performing TMJ treatment in Houston, dentists also suggest tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline to reduce pain.

Non-Surgical Methods

Specific non-drug therapies can also heal TMJ disorders. People suffering from TMJ disorders are often made to wear a firm device over their teeth to prevent unrestricted movement of the jaws. Often stress can also lead to stiff jaws. Counseling can help the dentist understand the reason for aggravation of pain and help you avoid them.

Surgical Methods

Corticosteroid injections into the temporomandibular joints can reduce pain and swelling. Arthroscopic surgery can be beneficial t treat TMJ disorders. Arthroscopic surgery is performed by placing a small tube in the joint space and inserting an arthroscope. Such surgery carries less risk and takes lesser time to heal.

Exercise for TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder can be caused due to muscle stress, and exercise helps in relaxation. Regular exercise under the guidance of a dentist providing TMJ treatment near you can strengthen the jaw muscles and relax the jaws. Other benefits of exercise are promoting healing of the jaws, increasing jaw mobility, and stretching the jaws. Lifestyle change can also help. Eating soft food or avoiding clenching of teeth can also reduce temporomandibular joint disorder.

The TMJ Disorder Dentist

Dream Dental (Richmond Ave) provides TMJ treatment in Richmond Ave, and we offer a $19 new patient examination and free at-home whitening kit. You can book an appointment and avail of our comprehensive patient-centric service by experienced dentists. We also provide emergency dentistry and cosmetic dentistry.