How A Dentist Can Treat TMJ Pain: Here’s What We Learned

How A Dentist Can Treat TMJ Pain: Here’s What We Learned

Apr 01, 2023

What Is TMJ Pain?

It is dental pain affecting the jawbone and the rest of the oral cavity. The pain occurs due to TMD, an acronym for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. It is a condition featuring a dysfunction of the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull.

Symptoms and Causes of TMJ Disorders

The sooner you know you have TMJ disorder, the earlier you can begin treatment. The surest way to know about your condition is by visiting a dentist in Frisco, TX, for a diagnosis. The dentist will even consider the causes of TMD.
TMJ disorder occurs due to various factors, including the following:

  1. Bruxism – is excessive teeth grinding and clenching at night.
  2. Dental trauma – an injury or accident can fracture, crack, displace, or damage the connective tissues.
  3. Improper or uneven bites – due to orthodontic complications like overcrowding.
  4. Arthritis – some types of arthritis can threaten your jaw health.
  5. Poor oral habits like biting fingernails or chewing hard non-food items.

However, before visiting the dentist near you to find an accurate diagnosis along with the causes of the problem, consider the symptoms of TMJ disorders. They include the following:

  1. Jaw pain – especially when you try to eat or chew food.
  2. Jaw lock – you may have difficulty opening and closing your mouth well since it gets stuck in the open-mouth position.
  3. Migraine headaches
  4. Clicking sound when you chew or speak.
  5. Ear pain

Can TMJ Go Away On Its Own?

Admittedly a few cases of TMJ Go away without seeking treatment. It is common for mild disorders that have not caused advanced damage to the discs and soft tissues of the joint. However, you cannot fully know that your TMJ is mild until after visiting a dentist for evaluation.

Should I Go to The Dentist If I Have TMJ?

Always prioritize your oral health enough to seek TMJ treatment in Frisco, TX, as soon as you realize you have symptoms of the condition. Let your dentist be the one to recommend waiting it out until the disorder goes away on its own. Besides, there are benefits to seeing a dentist for TMJ, including the following:

  1. Preventing the progression and advancement of the condition.
  2. Treating pain instead of suppressing it with medication.
  3. Confirming the diagnosis of your condition – so you are treating the right oral problem.
  4. Monitoring the severity of the condition to offer treatment accordingly.
  5. Habit counseling – will play a significant role in overcoming TMJ disorder and preventing it from worsening.

How Do Dentists Treat TMJ Disorders?

At Millennium Smiles, TMJ disorder treatments depend on the underlying cause and the severity of the complication. Severe conditions call for more invasive measures of treatment. Some of the treatment options a dentist may recommend for TMJ disorder are:

  1. Night guard – is a mouth protector you wear at night to overcome bruxism. Dentists prescribe a night guard to patients who clench and grind their teeth as a way to alleviate pressure from the jawbone. If bruxism is the cause of your disorder, a night guard is sufficient to treat TMD.
  2. .Medication – dentists prescribe medicine to manage pain and inflammation. Further, the dentist may prescribe muscle relaxants for TMD caused by muscle spasms. Antidepressants can also help manage stress, anxiety, and depression, which are often mental and emotional states that can aggravate TMD.
  3. Physical therapy – your dentist will recommend stretching exercises to strengthen your jaw muscles, alongside treatment care like hot or cold compressing.
  4. Surgery – dentists employ surgery as the last solution for patients with TMJ disorders. Surgery is the best treatment if the underlying cause of your condition is dental trauma.
  5. Lifestyle changes – before you leave the dental clinic, your dentist will suggest a few changes to improve your oral habits and support your jaw health. Some habits you must abandon include:
    1. Teeth clenching or grinding
    2. Leaning on your chin
    3. Biting fingernails
    4. Chewing hard non-food items
    5. Opening items with your teeth
    6. Sleeping on your side – at least until your jaw is well healed.
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