Dental Treatment Options for TMJ Therapy

Dental Treatment Options for TMJ Therapy

What is TMJ Disorder?

TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint. There’s one on each side, and they attach your jaw to the bottom of your skull. The muscles near them let you to open and close your mouth. But sometimes, the joints get out of line or don’t move as they should. Up to 15% of adults, mostly ages 20 to 40, have it. It happens more in women than in men.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders may include:

  • Pain or tenderness of your jaw
  • Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints
  • Aching pain in and around your ear
  • Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
  • Aching facial pain
  • Constant teeth grinding
  • Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth

TMJ disorders can also cause a clicking sound or grating sensation when you open your mouth or chew. But if there’s no pain or limitation of movement associated with your jaw clicking, you probably don’t need treatment for a TMJ disorder.

Causes

The temporomandibular joint combines a hinge action with sliding motions. The parts of the bones that interact in the joint are covered with cartilage and are separated by a small shock-absorbing disk, which normally keeps the movement smooth.

Painful TMJ disorders can occur if:

  • The disk erodes or moves out of its proper alignment
  • The joint’s cartilage is damaged by arthritis
  • The joint is damaged by a blow or other impact

In many cases, however, the cause of TMJ disorders isn’t clear.

How We Can Help

TMJ can be treated in many ways. At Warm Family Dentistry, you can have the best treatment for TMJ. These are the options:

Medications

Along with other nonsurgical treatments, these medication options may help relieve the pain associated with TMJ disorders:

  • Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Muscle relaxants 

Therapies

Nondrug therapies for TMJ disorders include:

  • Oral splints or mouth guards (occlusal appliances)
  • Physical therapy
  • Counseling

Surgical or other procedures

When other methods don’t help, your doctor might suggest procedures such as:

  • Arthrocentesis
  • Injections
  • TMJ arthroscopy
  • Modified condylotomy
  • Open-joint surgery