The Ultimate Guide to TMJ Treatment: What You Need to Know

  • Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • The Ultimate Guide to TMJ Treatment: What You Need to Know
the ultimate guide to tmj treatment what you need to know

Have you been scouring the internet for an article that provides complete information on TMJ? Look no further, because Seton Dental Wellness is here to help! Our in-depth guide for TMJ treatment in Seton will discuss the causes, signs, and treatments of TMJ (temporomandibular joint) issues.

Many individuals suffer from TMJ, which causes pain and discomfort in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles. You can manage and treat your symptoms more effectively if you have a thorough understanding of the problem and the available treatments.

What Do TMJ and TMD Mean?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects your jawbone (mandible) to your lower skull. It functions as a sliding hinge, allowing you to open and close your mouth, chew, speak, and perform other movements with your jaw.

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMD, is a collective term for a number of ailments which affect the temporomandibular joint and the tissues, muscles, and ligaments that surround it.

It’s crucial to remember that the words TMJ and TMD are frequently used synonymously, which can occasionally lead to confusion. Technically speaking, TMD refers to the pathology or malfunction of the joint, whereas TMJ refers to the joint itself. TMD, however, is generally implied when someone says TMJ.

What are the Causes of TMJ?

The causes of TMJ disorder (TMD) can vary, but several factors may contribute:

1. Jaw injury or trauma: Impact or whiplash-type injuries can damage the jaw joint or surrounding structures.
2. Jaw misalignment: Improper alignment of the jaw joint or teeth, known as malocclusion, can strain the temporomandibular joint and muscles.
3. Bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching): Habitual teeth grinding or clenching, especially during sleep or stress, strains the jaw muscles.
4. Arthritis: Certain types of arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, can affect the temporomandibular joint.
5. Stress and anxiety: Emotional stress and anxiety lead to jaw clenching and facial muscle tension, increasing the risk of TMJ disorder.
6. Poor posture: Bad head and neck posture can affect jaw alignment and contribute to TMJ problems.
7. Hormonal factors: Hormonal fluctuations, particularly in women, may play a role in the development or worsening of TMJ symptoms.
8. Other factors: Genetic predisposition, joint degeneration, connective tissue disorders, and chronic inflammatory conditions may also contribute to TMJ disorder.

It’s important to note that not everyone who experiences these factors will develop TMJ disorder, as it is a complex condition influenced by multiple factors.

Symptoms of TMJ

  • Jaw pain
  • Jaw clicking or popping
  • Difficulty or discomfort when chewing
  • Jaw stiffness
  • Facial pain
  • Ear-related symptoms (ear pain, fullness, ringing, dizziness)
  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Facial muscle spasms
  • Changes in bite

Treatment OF TMJ

Here are some common options for TMJ treatment near you:

  • Self-care and lifestyle modifications

This includes applying heat or cold packs to the jaw, eating soft foods and avoiding hard or chewy foods, practicing relaxation techniques to reduce stress and jaw clenching, and avoiding excessive jaw movements, such as those needed when chewing chewing or wide yawning.

  • Medications

You have the option of acquiring over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, for temporary relief, using muscle relaxants to reduce muscle tension in the jaw, or receiving prescription medications, including tricyclic antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs, for chronic pain management.

  • Oral appliances

There are a few kinds of dental appliances that can help with TMJ: Splints or mouthguards, whether custom-fitted by a dentist near you or stock guards, and bite correction devices that adjust the bite and jaw position to alleviate symptoms.

  • Physical therapy

Exercises and stretches can help improve jaw mobility and strengthen related muscles. Other manual techniques, such as massage or mobilization, to relieve muscle tension and promote healing are worth considering as well.

  • Dental treatments

There are two primary routes you can explore. First, you can receive restorative dental treatment like replaying missing teeth or adjusting previously-obtained prosthetics to improve jaw alignment. Second is orthodontic treatment. In cases where bite misalignment contributes to TMJ disorder, orthodontic procedures may be recommended.

  • Injections

Trigger point injections which involve pain-relieving medications directly into the affected jaw muscles and Botox injections to relax the jaw and reduce pain can aid in TMJ pain.

  • Surgery (in severe cases)

If you’re dealing with serious pain and require a complex procedure, your health care provider may suggest any of the following options;

  1. Arthrocentesis: A minimally invasive procedure to remove debris and fluid from the joint
  2. Arthroscopy: Keyhole surgery to diagnose and treat TMJ problems
  3. Open-joint surgery: Invasive surgery to repair or replace the temporomandibular joint

It’s important to note that the choice of TMJ treatment near you depends on the individual’s specific condition and should be guided by a healthcare professional experienced in TMJ disorders.

TMJ Treatment at Seton Dental Wellness

To effectively manage TMJ symptoms and enhance the quality of life, it is crucial to have a professional examination and individualized therapy by a dentist in Seton. Give us a call to get started on the journey!