How to Treat Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
The temporomandibular joint is a crucial hinge that allows us to open and close our mouths, and it will enable the movement of the upper and lower jaw. It comprises the muscles, bones, and ligaments that work together to facilitate swallowing, chewing, yawning, and speaking. Each of us has two TMJ joints on each side of our heads. These joints have discs between the socket of the joints, and the balls, which act as cushions.
If a problem affects the function of these complex structures of the ligaments, muscles, discs, and bones, it results in extreme discomfort and pain. This condition is termed temporomandibular disorder. Our dental experts at Dream Dental in Richmond Ave will provide you with a personalized treatment to aid in overcoming the pain that is associated with TMJ disorder.
Causes of TMJ disorder
The exact cause of TMJ disorder has not been found yet, and research is still underway to determine what causes the TMJ disorder. However, some of the causes involve the joint movements and may include:
- The movement of the disk out of its place or disk erosion
- A blow or an impact that damages the joint
- Damage to the cartilage by arthritis.
- Excessive chewing of gum
- Poor posture that strains your neck and shoulder muscles
Some risk factors may also increase the risk of you getting a TMJ disorder. They include
- Stress or anxiety
- Clenching or grinding of teeth
- Orthodontic braces
- Some types of arthritis such as rheumatoid or osteoarthritis
- Some types of connective tissue diseases may affect the temporomandibular joint.
Signs and Symptoms of TMJ
The following are the signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder:
- Pain in the face
- Locked jaw
- Grating or clicking sounds when eating or chewing
- Difficulty while chewing
- Pain and tenderness on the jaw
- Pain around your shoulders and ear area
- Difficulty in closing or opening your mouth
- Swelling on the jaw side of your face
If you notice the mentioned above symptoms, it would be advisable to seek TMJ treatment near you. Our dentist will first diagnose the TMJ disorder by thoroughly examining you. They will do so by checking your range of motion, any signs of discomfort or pain, and any signs that point to clenching or grinding your teeth. They may also take some x-rays to obtain detailed information about your teeth and jaw. If your situation is so severe, MRIs and CT scans are used to obtain in-depth insights and understand the root cause.
Our dentist has successfully treated patients with TMJ disorders for many years. We combine our dental experts’ extensive experience with advanced dental technology to provide our patients with non-invasive, long-term treatments for temporomandibular disorders.
For TMJ treatment in Richmond Ave, our dentist personalises treatments to meet individual patients’ specific and unique needs. Depending on your situation and evaluation, your dentist will recommend the following treatment options:
- Anti-inflammatory medication and pain relievers
- Lifestyle changes
- Physical therapy such as exercising the jaws
- Muscle relaxants
- Mouthguards and oral sprints to prevent tooth clenching and grinding
Your dentist may recommend the following home care treatment:
- Apply hot or cold compress on your jaw to help you relax your jaw and face muscles
- Avoid taking hard foods such as raw carrots and opt for soft foods such as apple sauce and mashed potatoes.
- Limit the intake of sticky or chewy foods like chewing gum.
- Exercise your jaw by stretching it. Your physical therapist or dentist can teach you how to stretch and massage your jaw muscles at home.
- Learn various stress management techniques.
- Limit intense jaw movements such as yelling and yawning. Overusing your muscles can strain your jaw.
- Wear a bite guard while sleeping to prevent clenching or grinding your jaw.
If all the above interventions fail, your dentist will advise you to opt for surgery as a last resort. The available types of surgical procedures for temporomandibular disorders include:
- Modified condyloma
- Open joint surgery
- TMJ arthroscopy
Where to Get TMJ Treatment in Houston, TX
If you need TMJ treatment in Houston, TX, Dream Dental in Richmond Avenue is the right place for you. Our team of dental experts is trained to use non-invasive procedures to alleviate your pain. We also offer other dental services such as cosmetic, preventive, sedation, pediatric dentistry, and so much more. Book an appointment by filling our online form.