Blue Bell TMJ Treatment
An incredibly common condition, TMJ disorder (TMD) affects the jaw joint and surrounding muscles. This dysfunction can lead to pain, headaches, and difficulty chewing, so it’s important to be aware of treatment options. By attending regularly scheduled checkups with your dentist, you can help monitor the health of your TMJ and determine if further treatment is necessary.
Symptoms of TMD
Over 30 million Americans suffer from TMD, with cases ranging from mild to severe. Your symptoms will depend on your individual joint health, bite, and other factors. Generally, some common symptoms associated with TMD are:
- Pain in the jaw joint
- Limited jaw mobility
- Clicking and locking of the jaw
- Difficulty chewing
These are just some of the most typical signs of TMD. It’s important to keep in mind that joint disorders are complex and can manifest differently in different people. Joint disorders can also oscillate in severity and scope over time, so if you have a history of TMD be sure to work with your dentist to regularly monitor your jaw and ensure you are in good health.
Do you have TMD?
It’s important to remember that occasional clicking or jaw issues do not mean you have chronic TMD. Minor jaw problems are normal. You shouldn’t start to worry unless you notice frequent discomfort or other issues. If you do experience persistent pain or are unable to properly open or close your jaw, it’s time to see a specialist such as a dentist, who can help diagnose your TMD. The good news is that once diagnosis occurs, you can expect to find relief in one of the numerous treatment options available.
Treatment & Therapies
Luckily, a wide array of TMD treatment options are available. Here are some of the most common remedies:
If you require painkillers for TMD flare ups, your doctor or dentist may prescribe some for a brief time period. Muscle relaxants can sometimes also help ease the symptoms of the condition. In terms of long-term medication, low doses of antidepressants can be used to help relieve pain and allow for a better night’s sleep.
Many people with TMD often benefit from a mouthguard or similar oral appliance. Designed by your dentist to fit your bite perfectly, oral appliances are worn at night to relieve pain caused by grinding and clenching.
TMD is caused by many things, but stress is a prime factor in exacerbating symptoms. For example, biting your nails and stress-grinding your teeth at night can be addressed with a trained psychologist or counselor.
One of the more simple options to improve your TMD symptoms is to consider small lifestyle changes. Frequently, TMD is worsened by tough, chewy, or hard foods, which require more muscle exertion to chew. Your dentist or doctor may also recommend applying hot or cold packs to the affected area or performing strengthening exercises.
Contact Our Blue Bell TMJ Specialist
Your treatment plan will be optimized for your individual issues, and this list is by no means meant to be exhaustive. Rather, it’s to give you an idea of some of the more common and non-invasive treatment options available for TMD. Speaking with our dentist can help you gain a better understanding of how remedies like oral appliances can provide immediate relief for your TMD symptoms.