Are you experiencing clicking and pain in your jaw? Are you also experiencing debilitating headaches and neck pain? If so, an issue with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) could be the culprit. TMJ is the joint responsible for the closing and opening of your mouth.
Although it does not receive much credit, the TMJ is the most complex and frequently used joint in your body. A well-functioning TMJ enables painless and flawless jaw movement. But symptoms of TMJ disorders can develop into chronic conditions if left unaddressed. Fortunately, various treatments are available. Below are some of them:
The symptoms of TMJ-related disorders may go away on their own. But if the symptoms persist, your dentist at Midtown Dental Center might develop treatment alternatives. Some of them include:
Besides conventional treatments, medications can also help reduce the symptoms of TMJ. Some of them include:
Muscle Relaxants – These medications help reduce TMJ-related pain. They treat the pain caused by muscle spasms in TMJ patients.
Anti-inflammatories and Pain Relievers – Your dentist may prescribe stronger medication. This happens when over-the-counter drugs are no longer effective.
Tricyclic Antidepressants – These are antidepressant medications, such as amitriptyline. Yet, they are effective in bruxism control and pain relief when used in small doses.
Dental grinding is preventable using customized dental splints. They reduce overall clenching and keep your teeth aligned. Bite guards are the most commonly recommended treatment for mild TMJ. The two main types of dental splints are bruxism (tooth grinding) and a TMJ mouthguard.
They are minimally invasive procedures that provide temporary relief from TMJ’s symptoms. It uses corticosteroid injections to help reduce pain and inflammation in the TMJ. These injections include Botox. It is a neurotoxin that paralyzes your jaw, alleviating symptoms and preventing clenching.
Surgery for TMJ is considered the last option when everything else fails. Doctors can repair or reposition parts of the TMJ during the surgery. In more extreme cases, the removal and replacement of the TMJ become viable options. But TMJ surgeries also present significant risks. Patients might experience scarring and loss of jaw movement. In other instances, your body might reject the artificial joints. For this reason, dentists recommend trying non-invasive, safer alternatives first.
You can try to improve the symptoms of TMJ using various home remedies. As mentioned before, most symptoms of the condition often resolve without treatment. Even so, here are a few things that can help:
Go on a diet of soft foods
Do dentist-recommended jaw exercises
Avoid chewing gum
Avoid wide yawning
Massage your jaw muscles
Use ice packs and heat pads
Practice relaxation and mindfulness to decrease stress
Use over-the-counter medications
One of the most effective ways to reduce the symptoms of TMJ is by making lifestyle modifications. Going for regular dental checkups is essential, as it gives your dentist the chance to detect and treat TMJ disorders.
For more on TMJ treatments, visit Midtown Dental Center at our office in Atlanta, Georgia. You can also call (404) 874-0800 today to book an appointment.