When To Consider TMD/TMJ Treatment
You may have a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) and not realize what is wrong. The disorder refers to several problems with the muscles and bones in the face. If you have any of the above symptoms, you can talk to our specialist to learn if you should consider TMD/TMJ treatment.
Since many of the TMD/TMJ symptoms can relate to other issues, you need a diagnosis to determine if you have TMD/TMJ. The most common symptoms are:
- Pain near the ear, jawbone and cheek
- Severe headaches that may seem like migraines
- Painful pressure behind the eyes
- Unexplained earaches
- A popping sound when you open and close your mouth
- A jawbone that gets stuck in one place
- Tenderness and swelling of the jaw and face muscles
Treatments for TMD/TMJ include non-surgical and medical treatments starting with painkillers, antidepressants, and muscle relaxants. Therapies include mouth guards, oral splints, physical therapy, and counseling. The condition may be aggravated by behavioral factors that can be identified and removed through counseling. These may include biting fingernails, leaning on your chin for hours every day and grinding or clenching your teeth.
Surgical procedures such as irrigating the joint to remove inflammatory byproducts and debris, injections of corticosteroids into the joint and BOTOX to relieve muscle pain are the most commonly prescribed. There are also different surgeries that may help jaw locking and bone structural problems.
When you talk to our specialist, you may learn about the different treatments and after a diagnosis, the severity of your condition. Before undertaking treatment, you may be asked to eat soft foods and cut food into small pieces to avoid overuse of the jaw. You may also be shown exercises that strengthen and stretch your jaw muscles. Massage and heat and cold compresses may also be recommended.
The condition may be caused by injury, whiplash, arthritis, tension or stress and an alteration between the ball and socket and the disc. Researchers don’t know the cause of TMD/TMJ, but the symptoms can be treated.