TMJ Disorder Treatment
Temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ disorder or simply TMD, refers to problems with the joint that connects the jaw and skull. If you think you may be suffering from the disorder, see your dentist for diagnosis.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
A number of symptoms indicate you may have TMJ disorder. These include:
– Pain or swelling around the jaw, ears, or face.
– Headaches similar to migraines with pain or pressure behind the eyes and near the ears.
– Clicking or popping when you open or close your mouth.
– The jaw locking in or out of place.
– Tender jaw muscles.
Home Treatments for TMJ Disorder
There are several options for TMJ disorder treatment. The right choice for you will depend on the problems you are experiencing. Typically, your dentist will want to wait before beginning any intensive treatment, as most problems with the muscle and joint naturally improve over time. In the majority of cases, TMJ disorder has mild symptoms and treatment at home is sufficient. Your dentist will explain what actions you should take, which may include the following:
– Eating soft foods that require minimal chewing.
– Applying damp heat to the jaw for 10 minutes followed by stretching exercises, as specified by your dentist, after which you will hold an ice pack to your face for five minutes.
– Medicine, such as anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety medication, and antidepressants.
Severe Cases of TMJ Disorder
If you are suffering from extreme discomfort, your dentist may recommend surgery or injections. Surgery is usually only an option if other types of treatment have failed. The most common type of surgery is arthroscopy under general anesthesia, but if this is unsuitable for your condition, you may receive open join surgery.