TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint disorder, which for the most part means that someone’s jaw is out of alignment. When a jaw is not in its proper alignment there are going to be repercussions, which can vary from mild to extreme. If you happen to be experiencing any of the below jaw-related issues it is possible that you might have this quite common dental dysfunction. In order to be sure you will need to make an appointment with a dental professional who can provide you with an accurate diagnosis.
Are you currently experiencing any headaches? Muscle spasms in the neck area? Pain, discomfort or tenderness around the ears? A tightness in the jaw area? Do you have difficulty chewing or swallowing? Can you hear your jaw joint popping or crackling? If you have any of these symptoms making an appointment with a dental professional in order to receive a proper diagnosis is highly suggested.
Millions of people are affected by this chronic dental condition. Speaking with a professional will allow you to understand what your options are going to be when it comes to treating this all too common jaw disorder.
How do dentists treat TMJ?
While many cases of TMJ are resolved without having to see a professional dentist, some dental patients will need to discuss their available TMJ treatment options with a dental professional in order to find the relief they are seeking.
Non-invasive dental treatment options:
- Mouth guards are a great option for those who grind or clench their teeth at night.
- Adjusting a bad bite can often bring relief.
- Myofunctional therapy refers to the neuromuscular re-education of the facial muscles.
- TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) therapy uses electrical pulses to stimulate the muscles in order to improve the overall mobility in the jaw.
- While dental medications are available patients are encouraged to try over the counter medications first.
Invasive dental treatment options:
- Botox (minimally invasive)
At home treatment options:
- Eat soft foods
- Do facial exercises
- Massage the muscles in the jaw
- Avoid chewing gum
- Avoid eating any hard foods
- Avoid eating any chewy or sticky foods
- Avoid extreme jaw movements that involve opening the mouth too wide
- Sleeping on the back vs. the stomach is advised
Call San Marcos Family Dentistry Dr. Gene Milligan at (512) 392-6739
If you think that you may be suffering from TMJ, we ask that you call us for the guidance you need so you can get back on track to your good oral health. There are many options when it comes to treating this jaw disorder, which is truly good news as you do not have to continue to live with a dental issue that negatively affects your everyday life. If you need special accommodations or can only make it to an appointment during a certain time of the day, please let us know as we will try our best to accommodate you.
There truly is no time like the present when it comes to taking good care of your oral health!
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