Dental Tips Blog

Nov
6

TMJ Therapy

Posted in TMJ Therpy

“TMJ” or “TMJD” is the common term used to refer to the pain and dysfunction of the Temporomandibular joint. TMJD can cause moderate to severe symptoms and pain that greatly affects dental patients. There are numerous available TMJ therapies and treatments for the condition, so it can be a bit overwhelming for dental patients to decide what type of treatment method is the best choice for them.

Symptoms of TMJD commonly include:

  • Pain in and around the jaw
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain through the neck and shoulders
  • Limited motion, clicking or locking of the jaw

Onset of symptoms can be due to various factors such as teeth grinding, tooth malocclusion, stress, trauma, rheumatoid arthritis, or disc degeneration. Depending on what the suspected contributing factor is, your treatment can vary from noninvasive therapeutical techniques, to invasive surgical procedures. Unfortunately procedures such as disc replacement is not completely effective, and may only be effective in as many as 40% of procedures.  Instead, noninvasive therapies may be more effective and not even require surgery.

Common successful non-invasive therapies used to alleviate TMJD symptoms include:

  • Orthodontic therapy
  • Bite splints
  • Night guards
  • Botox injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Yoga and focused relaxation techniques
  • Massage
  • Head and neck alignment adjustment for sleep positions
  • Avoiding gum and hard foods
  • Application of moist heat or cold/hot compresses throughout the day

Working with your dentist can help eliminate and identify bite problems and other issues that may or may not be contributing to your TMJD condition. In many cases a combination of non-invasive techniques can provide relief to the joint so that dental patients can go throughout their day without experiencing the effects of pain from this condition.

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