Treatment For Tmj Disorder
Some treatment options can be applied at home and others require the help of a dentist. The first steps should include applying ice to the jaw to reduce inflammation and eating soft foods to allow the jaw to relax. You can also take anti inflammatory pain relievers.
If these do not provide relief, your dentist may prescribe you stronger pain relief medication and muscle relaxants in order to accelerate relief and healing.
The next step in the treatment process may involve wearing a mouthguard to prevent teeth grinding and clenching. By restricting these behaviors, the jaw will have time to heal and the joint will eventually relax.
If none of the above can relieve your TMJ disorder, your dentist may recommend injections or even surgery. Severe cases may require replacement of the joint.
When To See A Dentist For Tmj Pain
If your jaw has been hurt and you are experiencing severe pain in the region along with neck pain, ear pain, facial pain, or headache, experiencing pain while opening or closing, or chewing, it could be due to TMJ disorder. You can try home remedies to alleviate chronic pain. However, if you have been experiencing the pain for a long time, you need to consult a doctor.
Ignoring these symptoms will only worsen the situation. Your TMJ disorder will not get better unless you address it correctly. When visiting your primary care physician or a dentist who has experience with TMJ treatment, they will be able to properly diagnose and treat the area to alleviate the symptoms of TMJ Disorder.
During your consultation, your dentist will discuss all your symptoms and carry out a thorough examination of your jaw. They will listen to the symptoms you are experiencing and observe the range of motion in your jaw. They will press on the areas around your jaw to identify the sites of discomfort or pain. If your dentist or doctor suspects there is a problem, they may recommend further tests to prescribe the right course of treatment.
Home Treatments For Tmd
There are things you can do on your own to help relieve TMD symptoms. Your doctor may suggest you try some of these remedies together.
Take over-the-counter medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , like naproxen or ibuprofen, can relieve muscle pain and swelling.
Use moist heat or cold packs. Apply an ice pack to the side of your face and temple area for about 10 minutes. Do a few simple jaw stretches . When youâre done, hold a warm towel or washcloth to the side of your face for about 5 minutes. Perform this routine a few times each day.
Eat soft foods. Add yogurt, mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, soup, scrambled eggs, fish, cooked fruits and vegetables, beans, and grains to your menu. Cut foods into small pieces so you chew less. Skip hard, crunchy foods , chewy foods , and thick or large bites that require you to open wide.
Avoid extreme jaw movements. Keep yawning and chewing to a minimum and donât yell, sing, or do anything that forces you to open wide.
Don’t rest your chin on your hand. Donât hold the phone between your shoulder and ear. Practice good posture to reduce neck and facial pain.
Keep your teeth slightly apart as often as you can. This will relieve pressure on your jaw. Put your tongue between your teeth to control clenching or grinding during the day.
Learn relaxation techniques to help loosen up your jaw. Ask your dentist if you need physical therapy or massage. Consider stress reduction therapy as well as biofeedback.
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When Should You Consider Tmj Surgery
TMJ surgery should only be considered after all other treatment options have been tried and severe pain remains. While TMJ surgery is the best option for many people, itâs important to weigh your options and make an informed decision.
There are three types of TMJ surgery: arthrocentesis, arthroscopy and open-joint surgery. The type of surgery needed depends on the TMJ symptoms and the complexity of the problem.
Compared to arthrocentesis and arthroscopy, open-joint surgery results in a longer healing time plus has a greater chance of tissue scarring and nerve injury. Still, there are instances in which open-joint surgery is the best solution. Your healthcare provider can help you determine which approach is suitable for your unique needs.
Risk Factors And Causes
While its usually easy to recognize the symptoms of temporomandibular joint and nerve pain, its more difficult to determine whats causing your pain. Your doctor or dentist may not be able to tell you whats causing your TMJ pain. However, a TMJ disorder can occur under the following situations:
- Arthritis damage in joint cartilage
- Disc erosion in the jaw
- A jaw injury like whiplash or a heavy blow
- Grinding or clenching teeth
- Stress or anxiety that causes you to tighten facial and jaw muscles
- Excessive use of chewing gum
- Connective tissue diseases that affect your temporomandibular joint
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Reasons To Seek Tmj Pain Treatment
Following are the most common symptoms of TMJ disorder. If youre experiencing any of these, contact your dentist for TMJ pain treatment.
1. Pain in the jaw, face or ears
2. Migraine-like headaches
3. Pain and pressure behind your eyes
4. Clicking or popping sounds when the mouth opens and closes
5. Jaw that locks in place or feels out of joint
6. Jaw muscles that feel tender or sore
7. Swollen face
Your TMJ may be the result of something obvious, like an injury or clenching your teeth. Yet, sometimes the cause is less clear. TMJ can happen due to misaligned teeth, or arthritis.
The reason for your TMJ disorder determines the treatment method.
Tmj Disorders Tmd Diagnosis And Treatment
Jaw and facial pain, difficulty opening and closing your mouth , clicking, and popping may all be signals of a temporomandibular disorder , also called temporomandibular joint disorders. While pain and other TMD symptoms are often temporary, a TMJ specialist can help if your jaw and facial pain persist or if you are unable to completely open your mouth.
Duke Health has a range of TMJ specialists, from dentists who specialize in noninvasive treatments for facial and jaw pain, to oral and maxillofacial surgeons who are trained and skilled in corrective jaw surgery, if your condition has progressed. Together, our goal is to identify the factors that may be responsible for your TMJ disorder and help you improve your quality of life.
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Reasons For Jaw Pain And When To See A Doctor
- One of the main reasons for jaw pain is TMD, which can be caused by teeth grinding.
- A sinus infection and dental issues like cavities may also lead to jaw pain.
You use your jaw any time you talk, eat, drink, or swallow. So, if you wake up with jaw pain, it can be debilitating, leading to symptoms including facial pain, ear ache, and headache.
Diagnosing jaw pain is tricky, since it can be caused by a number of factors, including dental problems, nerve damage, infections, injury, or tumors, says Dr. Yasmeen Jalal, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Memorial Hermann Health System.
Important: Severe jaw pain can cause swelling in your airways,which can make it difficult to breathe, Jalal says. If you have trouble breathing along with jaw pain, seek emergency medical care immediately.
Here are seven reasons why you may have jaw pain and how to treat it.
How Tmj Is Treated Do I Go To A Doctor Or Dentist
Today, were answering your questions about TMJ disorders.
If you or someone you know suffers from TMJ, you know how stressful and uncomfortable it can be to cope with the disorder. Fortunately, there are plenty of effective options available to help you return to life as normal. So, whether youre wondering how TMJ is treated, where to seek care, or how to relieve the pain, were here to answer all of your questions.
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Tmj Disorder: What Is The Best Time To Consult A Specialist
The temporomandibular joint is a joint which is responsible for connecting the lower jaw and skull in front of the ear. The joint is like a hinge which helps to move the jaw right & left, smile, eat, chew, and open & close. When you feel pain in your jaw while moving your jaw, it could be due to TMJ disorder.
What causes TMJ syndrome?
The causes of the TMJ disorder are not known but there are few factors which are responsible for the TMD. There are multiple factors which lead to jaw misalignment and tightness. Here are a few
factors which are responsible for TMJ disorder.
One of the reasons for TMD could be a misalignment of the jaw.
Teeth grinding due to stress
Poor or wrong posture
TMJ syndrome symptoms and signs
One of the main symptoms of TMD is pain in the temporomandibular joint which is located in front of the ear. One can feel jaw pain, ear pain, headache, neck pain and facial pain due to TMJ disorder.
The most prominent area of the TMD pain is jaw, if one feels pain in the jaw it could be because of TMD.
Popping and clicking sounds in the jaw.
Stiff jaw and neck muscles
Pain in jaw while chewing
When to go to consult a specialist
If your jaw got hurt and you are experiencing jaw pain, facial pain, ear pain and neck pain including headache it could be due to TMJ disorder. There is no surprise if you are feeling pain in your jaw while eating, chewing these are the symptoms of TMJ disorder.
How to diagnose TMJ disorder?
Is It Bad To Crack Your Jaw
Cracking your jaw isnt necessarily harmful. It can happen if you open your mouth wide, like during a big yawn. This is expected and normal.
However, take note if your jaw cracks when you talk or chew. It may indicate a more serious issue, especially if you also have pain.
Try eating softer foods to decrease your jaw activity. If your symptoms persist, see a doctor.
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Can Severe Tmj Be Cured
If TMJ does not respond to therapies, stress-management programs, splints, and guards, your dentist may recommend a surgical procedure. For the most severe cases of TMJ, surgery is often the best long-term solution. And when paired with other forms of treatment, most patients find significant, lasting relief.
Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Jaw Pain
Taking a thorough medical history involves asking questions about your pain. Questions your doctor may ask include:
When did the pain start?
Where exactly is the pain?
Did the pain develop suddenly or slowly? Is it constant or intermittent?
Does the pain occur with any particular activity, such as eating or yawning?
What other symptoms are you having, such as tooth pain or clicking or popping in the jaw?
Can you open and close your jaw normally?
- When was your last dental exam?
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What Can A Dentist Do For Tmj
There are a range of different treatment options for TMJ. Your dentist will talk you through the options available to you and help you decide what youd prefer.
Some examples include orthodontics, such as a plate or braces to correct your bite. In some cases, a dentist may recommend filing and polishing existing teeth, or replacing missing teeth to likewise correct the bite.
What Is Tmj Pain And What Does It Feel Like
TMJ pain is pain related to the temporomandibular joints, where your jaw connects to your skull. These joints are responsible for a lot of complex movements in eating and talking, so get a lot of use.
TMJ pain may radiate from the joint itself down into the jaw and the ears. The pain is often dull and throbbing. You might also experience popping or locking of the jaw when opening or closing your mouth.
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What Kind Of Doctor Treats Tmj
Team TMJ Disorder
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the place where your lower jaw attaches to your skull near the ear or temple area of your face. When something goes wrong with this joint, it is often referred to as TMJ, when it is actually a TMJ disorder. Problems with TMJ are common and can often be resolved easily with simple treatments.
When you do have a problem with TMJ, who do you call? Should you see a primary care physician? An ENT ? Or a dentist?
Should I See A Doctor Or Dentist For Jaw Pain
The jaw is within the purview of dentists and orthodontists, so most issues around the jaw can be more easily diagnosed by a dentist.
While some causes of jaw pain such as cardiac events or tumours may be better treated by a doctor, your dentist is best equipped to identify most common causes and will refer you to a doctor if the issue is not dental.
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Rheumatoid Or Psoriatic Arthritis
These forms of arthritis occur because your immune system attacks healthy joints. Both rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis are identified as autoimmune conditions.
You may experience joint pain throughout your body at different times, including in your TMJ, and certain triggers may cause the pain to flare up.
When To See A Doctor
Although jaw pain isnt always serious, pain accompanied by certain symptoms could point to a more serious condition that requires treatment.
You may want to consider seeing your healthcare provider or dentist if the pain sticks around for more than a few days or seems to clear up and come back.
Here are some other signs it may be time to get a medical professionals opinion:
- You have trouble eating, drinking, swallowing, or breathing.
- Pain makes it difficult to move your mouth as you usually would.
- You have swelling or a fever that doesnt go away.
- You have severe pain that suddenly goes away after a burst of salty liquid that tastes and smells unpleasant.
A high fever, extreme pain, or swelling that affects your ability to breathe and swallow are all serious symptoms that require prompt treatment.
If you have jaw pain with these symptoms, its best to head to urgent care instead of waiting for an appointment with your healthcare provider. If you dont already have a dentist, our Healthline FindCare tool can help you connect to physicians in your area.
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How Can You Treat Your Tmj Pain Or Jaw Pain
There are several possible causes of TMJ pain. It can be the cause of simple tooth decay or can also be part of expensive complicated surgery. Some patients opt for surgery for orthodontic treatment of TMJ. But you should avoid it because scientifically no evidence can support the study of the safety and effectiveness of surgical treatment of TMJ disorders.
Some patients go for jaw implants but scientifically you should also avoid this because of a similar reason. There are many over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or naproxen. These medications can reduce swelling and can reduce pain for temporary periods. It is advisable not to use these anti-inflammatory drugs as part of a permanent fix. You can use oral appliances called a stabilization splint or bite guard. This is one of the common treatments for TMJ.
Symptoms Of Tmj Disorder
TMJ disorder has a wide range of symptoms, some of which are confusing, making the patient think the problem is elsewhere instead of the jaw. Symptoms include:
- Jaw pain. Jaw pain can occur at any place in the jaw or at the joint where the jaw meets the skull in the temple area.
- Restricted movement of the jaw. Sometimes the joint will lock, making it difficult to open and close your mouth.
- Pain in the teeth. Your teeth will sometimes feel sore due to grinding or clenching your jaws together.
- Headaches. It is common to experience headaches with TMJ disorder, especially in the temple area of the head.
- Ear pain. Sometimes the pain of TMJ feels as if it is in the ear, often mistaken for an ear infection.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your dentist to schedule an examination. Its very common to think your ear pain is related to something else rather than your jaw, but it is a normal symptom of TMJ disorder. Unless you are prone to ear infections or you have recently experience cold or flu symptoms, it is more likely related to your jaw pain.
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How Is Tmj Dysfunction Diagnosed
In most cases, TMJ dysfunction is diagnosed during a dental checkup. Your healthcare provider will:
- Observe the range of motion when you open and close your mouth.
- Press on your face and jaw to determine areas of discomfort.
- Feel around your jaw joints as you open and close your mouth.
In addition, radiographs may be taken to view the jaw joints and determine the extent of damage. These may include:
- Panoramic X-rays. This type of dental X-ray shows a broad overview of your teeth, jawbone and TMJs.
- CBCT scans. Cone beam computed tomography scans capture thousands of images of your teeth, jaws, facial bones and sinuses. These pictures are then stitched together for a detailed 3-D image. Dental CT scans give your healthcare provider a more detailed view of your facial anatomy.
- MRI scans. In some cases, magnetic resonance imaging may be used to view soft tissues in and around the jaw joints. These images show the position of the disk, inflammation and possible jaw locking. This can tell your healthcare provider if the TMJ disc is functioning properly and in good condition.
You may be referred to a specialist for further care and treatment. An oral maxillofacial surgeon specializes in treating skeletal conditions such as TMJ dysfunction.