TMJ disorders can be quite painful, but thankfully there are treatments that can completely alleviate many of the symptoms.
Some of these treatments can be rather simple, such as an orthotic mouthpiece, while others are more invasive, such as surgery.
Below we'll look at the most common treatments for TMJ disorders, so you can decide which may be best for you.
What Is TMJ
A TMJ disorder refers to the small joint located in the jaw known as the Temporomandibular joint. This joint works as a sliding hinge between your jaw and skull.
This tiny joint can become inflamed through improper positioning or other factors such as muscle imbalance, incorrect alignment of teeth, and poor posture. The pain can then radiate to other parts of the jaw, neck, and ear causing significant discomfort in some cases.
Treatments For TMJ Disorders
When it comes to treating TMJ disorders, doctors prefer to start with the least invasive methods available. These can be very effective and often help to avoid the need for more invasive therapies.
The general public usually refers to these as “mouthguards”, but at TMJ Plus we create a custom orthotic mouthpiece that is carefully crafted for each patient.
However, not all mouthpieces are created equal and this is where TMJ Plus sets itself apart from other treatment options. By using advanced technology like three-dimensional CBCT x-ray imaging, our TMJ specialists can create a custom orthotic mouthpiece that addresses all issues of misalignment and jaw position.
Our specialists then use specific testing tools such as an EMG to evaluate jaw muscles to ensure the orthotic is created to the exact dimensions necessary to relieve stress on the temporomandibular joint and ease pain. Specific testing tools allow precision by showing where the bite , jaw muscles and tmj joint are in a measurable more relaxed state. The muscle testing, called EMG testing ,shows specific jaw muscles muscle activity. This test tool along with the CBCT 3D x-ray of the tmj allows the dentist to see the precise jaw position and muscle calmness to make the orthotic dimension.
Simple “mouthguards” cannot compare to the advanced technology and custom fitting provided by TMJ Plus orthotics.
Exercises and physical therapy
After a diagnosis by our doctor, they may recommend neck or jaw exercises and physical therapy to help alleviate your TMJ symptoms.
Some of these exercises can be done at home after a period of instruction, while others will have to be performed under the guidance of a qualified physical therapist or upper cervical chiropractor.
Your doctors will help decide which plan is best for you and whether in-person physical therapy is required.
A variety of medicines can be used to treat the pain and symptoms. They can be anything from mild anti-inflammatory medications to antidepressants, which in small doses, can help with TMJ issues.
Success with various medications can vary and many patients find they do not adequately treat the root of the TMJ problem.
Of course, your doctor will most likely start with other options before suggesting medications. They may also suggest these in addition to other options in order to manage pain and discomfort.
This is the most invasive of the options and is generally reserved for when all other measures have not yielded adequate results.
The most common surgery is known as arthrocentesis. In this procedure, a small needle is inserted into the joint area so that fluid and possibly debris can be removed.
The next option would be arthroscopic surgery. In this type of surgery, a small fiber optic camera is inserted near the joint. Then, small surgical instruments can be used to repair damaged areas of the joint.
Additional Information about TMJ Treatments
If you're suffering from TMJ-related pain or discomfort, it's important to begin treatment as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Our experts at TMJ Plus Wellness Center have years of experience professionally dealing with TMJ disorders. We can diagnose and offer treatment options that are perfectly suited for your specific case.
Contact TMJ Plus at 817-481-6888 to set up your appointment and start down the road to relief from painful TMJ symptoms.