Here’s all you need to know about TMJ therapies

Here’s all you need to know about TMJ therapies

Jan 15, 2021

The pain and discomfort associated with chewing and talking when one has a TM disorder (TMD) can be disturbing. The TMJ(short for Temporomandibular Joint) connects our jawbones to our skulls. We have one on each side of our jaws. The joint is always involved in activities that require moving the mouth. Hence, it’s advisable that you seek TMJ therapy near you if you’re experiencing symptoms.

TMJ therapy involves the use of medication, physical therapy, alternative therapy, surgery, and home remedies. Treatment is tailored to the individual. The exact cause of the disorder can be difficult to determine. However, a dentist/specialist in TMJ therapy in Pearland will conduct medical investigations and physical assessment. Results from these procedures will help to inform the decision of therapy. In this article, we will discuss the various options of therapy in TMD. First off, let’s discuss the symptoms, causes, and risk factors of TMD.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms are pain or tenderness in one or both joints. Sometimes, aching pain in and around the ear accompanies this. Difficulty and pain while chewing are common too. Some experience locking of the joint that makes opening and closing the mouth difficult. Some people hear a clicking sound or feel a grinding sensation when they open their mouth or chew. Any of these warrant a trip to a specialist in TMJ Therapy in 77581.

Causes And Risk Factors

TMD is usually due to a varying combination of factors like heredity, injury, and arthritis. We know that the disorder can result from the displacement or erodent of a small shock-absorbing disk at the joint. This disk separates the bones in the joint. These bones are covered by cartilage. Sometimes, the joint’s cartilage is damaged by arthritis leading to TMD. Physical injury can be inflicted on the joint due to a blow or other forms of impact.

Certain factors can put a person more at risk of developing the disorder. Top on this list is the various types of arthritis like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. A jaw injury, prolonged grinding or clenching of the teeth (bruxism), and some connective tissue diseases follow.

Diagnosis Of TMD

This involves physical assessment and medical investigations. A dentist/specialist in TMJ therapy near you will listen to and feel your jaw while you open and close your mouth. They will also observe the jaw’s range of motion and press around it to elicit feelings of pain. The specialist in TMJ therapy in Pearland may decide to proceed with a dental X-ray for further investigation. A CT scan or MRI is possible. TMJ arthroscopy is another method that they use to examine the region. Here, they insert a cannula(a small thin tube) into the joint space, followed by a small camera(arthroscope). This allows a real-time view of the region.

TMJ Therapies

Dentists usually recommend a combination of treatment options. Let’s start with drug therapy. Pain-relieving medication and anti-inflammatories are prescribed to manage symptoms of pain. TCAs(Tricyclic AntiDepressants) is used for pain relief, bruxism control, and sleeplessness. Muscle relaxants prevent muscle spasms which contribute to pain in the condition.

Non-drug therapies work well too. People with TMD can benefit from wearing a mouthguard. These are fixed to adjust their bite and prevent the side effects of nightly teeth grinding and clenching to reduce discomfort. Options for physical therapy include ultrasound, moist heat, and ice.

Counseling is needed to educate them on activities that worsen the pain. These can be biting the fingernails, teeth clenching or grinding, and leaning on one’s chin. Chewing gum should be avoided. Any form of sticky or chewy foods can aggravate pain. Soft foods work best. Food should be cut into smaller pieces for easy chewing.

There are surgical procedures that can help with TMD. In Arthrocentesis, debris and inflammatory byproducts are removed from the joint. This is achieved by the insertion of small needles into the joint for fluid irrigation. Other surgical options include TMJ arthroscopy, modified condylotomy, and open joint surgery.

Some people can benefit from alternative therapies such as acupuncture, relaxation techniques, and biofeedback.

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