Most people experience pain in the face or the joints, and most of them are not aware of the origin of this pain. The pain on our faces is sometimes related to the temporomandibular joint. TMJ is a joint connecting the lower and upper jawbones. It is made up of ligaments, muscles, discs, and bones that effectively control the movement of jaws either upwards or downwards. So at any moment, the jaw is not working correctly; this can show that you have a temporomandibular joint disorder.
If you are experiencing pain or difficulty moving your jaw, then your joint is not functioning properly. This article will help you understand TMJ and the proper treatment that you will need.
Patients dealing with temporomandibular disorder experience the following symptoms:
Medical doctors and scientists do not understand the actual causes of TMJ. But some factors contribute to the dysfunction and the tightness of muscles that characterize TMJ condition. These causes include:
The risk factors for TMJ disorder are:
If you have any of the above-mentioned signs of TMJ, it is in your best interest to visit our dentist at Cupertino Family Dental. Your dentist will first diagnose the problem by checking your jaw for any pain or tenderness, and they will also listen for any grating or clicking sounds when you move your jaw. Our dental experts will also check the movement of joints and jaw muscles. Your dentist will also take an x-ray, CT, or MRI scans to help in ruling out any other conditions.
Many treatment options are available for TMJ. You can take care of TMJ at home, but you have to visit your dentist if it gets severe.
You can alleviate the pain and treat your TMJ disorder at home in the following ways:
If your symptoms are persistent, then visit your doctor for medical treatment. Our dentist will recommend the following options:
1. TMJ treatment for pain relief through medications such as muscle relaxers or pain relievers
2. Mouthguards or oral splints. These are medical device placed on your teeth which prevent grinding of your upper and lower jaw.
3. Physical therapy. Your dentist may recommend a physical therapist to provide you with massages and stretches that will help you relax and strengthen your muscles.
4. Surgery. Surgery is another treatment option. The most common surgery options available include open joint surgery, modified condylotomy, TMJ arthroscopy, arthrocentesis, and injections at the joint.
Mostly, pain and discomfort associated with TMJ are temporary and often relieved with the doctor’s home care treatment or medications. However, surgery is a last resort after all the options have failed.