TMJ disorder, which is technically called “TMD,” is a painful problem that some dental patients face. Fortunately, treatment can be very simple. Fennell, Yoxthimer, and Associates, DDS can help our Cincinnati patients address their TMJ disorder and feel relief from jaw pain.
What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ stands for “temporomandibular joint,” which is the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. The major symptoms of TMJ disorder are pain of this joint or the muscles that control jaw movement. TMJ disorder patients may also feel aching in or around the ears or throughout the face, difficulty chewing or pain while doing so, or locking of the jaw joint. Many patients also experience a clicking sound or grating sensation while opening their mouth or chewing.
What is TMJ Therapy?
There are several treatment options for TMJ. Patients may be given medication to relieve pain and inflammation or to relax the muscles, for example. Oral splints or mouth guards are also available to relieve TMJ pain. Physical therapy, including exercises for the jaw muscles and heat or ice, are also options.
Your dentist may find that your TMJ can be treated at-home through lifestyle changes or simple remedies. In these cases, your dentist may recommend stretches or massage for the jaw muscles or applying warm or cold compresses to the side of your face. You may also be advised to avoid sticky or chewy food or chewing gum to relieve the jaw muscles.
Surgical and other dental procedures are sometimes the most effective options in treating TMJ. These include various types of surgery performed on the jaw joint to relieve inflammation and debris, surgery for the mandible to address TMJ indirectly, open-joint surgery to repair or replace the joint, or corticosteroid injections.
Who is a Candidate for TMJ Therapy?
In some cases, TMJ symptoms subside on their own without requiring therapy. However, if symptoms persist over time or the health of your teeth, gums, or jaw is affected, your dentist may recommend TMJ therapy. If you feel persistent pain or discomfort as a result of TMJ, schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Schedule an Appointment
To develop a treatment plan for your TMJ, schedule an appointment with Fennell, Yoxthimer, and Associates, DDS. Call our Cincinnati office at (513) 631-6600 or request an appointment online to get started.