Treatment for TMJ Disorders in Sun City Center, FL
What Is TMJ Treatment?
TMJ disorders refer to problems within the temporomandibular joint which connects your lower jaw to your skull. TMJ disorders are common, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need treatment. Although the symptoms of a TMJ disorder may seem like nothing more than an annoying clicking or popping sound when you chew, it’s important to notify your dentist of the problem. Without treatment, TMJ disorders may progress, becoming increasingly painful and disruptive to your life.
Treatments for TMJ disorder will depend upon the type of problem in the joint. Three primary problems develop in the temporomandibular joint.
- Myofascial Pain
Pain in the jaw, face, and neck often develops as the result of clenching or grinding your teeth (bruxism). If you’re struggling with myofascial pain due to pressure on the joint from clenching or grinding, a custom night guard (oral appliance) may be all that is necessary to alleviate the pressure on the joint and reduce your pain.
All joints are susceptible to degeneration and subsequent inflammation, and the temporomandibular joint is no exception. Pain caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis can result in pain in the jaw joint. A variety of treatments may be recommended to reduce the inflammation of the joint. These range from anti-inflammatory medications, to applying ice packs (cold compress) to the jaw, to diet modifications. Lifestyle changes to alleviate stress may also be recommended, as stress is a known trigger for cause inflammation.
- Joint Derangement
Another cause of TMJ disorders is a displaced disc in the temporomandibular joint. This may be due to trauma, or it may be an inherited condition. Treatments may range from specialized exercises (physical therapy) to injections that alleviate the pain. Severe dislocations in the joint may require surgery.
Signs You Need TMJ Treatment
You should notify your dentist if you suspect you have a TMJ disorder. Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
- Facial pain
- Pain in the neck
- Pain in the jaw
- Pain near your ear
- A sensation that the jaw is locking
- Clicking or popping sound when you chew
- Difficulty chewing
- Pain when chewing
- Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
- Pain in your shoulders
- Stiffness in the jaw