Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options for TMJ Disorder: Enhancing Your Understanding

 Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options for TMJ Disorder: Enhancing Your Understanding

July 1, 2023

The temporomandibular joint disorder is caused by genetics, arthritis, wear and tear and injury to your jaw. Some symptoms accompanying this disorder are jaw tenderness, frequent headaches, facial pain and earaches. Looking for TMJ treatment in Edmonton as soon as possible is essential, as the disorder can cause a lot of pain and complications that can affect your life. Below, we will discuss more on what this disorder is, what joint the TMJ is and some of the treatments that the dentist near you can perform to treat this condition.

What Is the Temporomandibular Joint?

The temporomandibular joint is found on both sides of your face, just after your ears. These joints link your lower jawbone to your skull and help in movements like speaking and chewing. So, when you have this disorder, it affects the joint connecting your jawbone to the skull, making it challenging for you to chew food well.

Other symptoms of TMJ disorder include:

  • Jaw pain.
  • Tooth pain.
  • Pain in the shoulders and neck.
  • A tired feeling in your face.
  • Swelling on the affected side of your face.
  • Popping, grating or clicking sounds whenever you open or close your mouth.
  • You might find it challenging to open your mouth wide.
  • Headaches.

You might be wondering what causes this disorder, but the only sure way of knowing the cause is by visiting the dentist in Edmonton, AB. The dental professional will feel around your jaw joints as you open your mouth or observe the range of motion when doing the same.

Once the dentist has concluded that you have TMJ disorder, they may perform different treatments. Some of the treatments may require surgery, while others don’t. The type of surgery to be performed depends on the severity of the disorder and your dentist’s recommendation.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options for TMJ Disorder

The dentist near you may first recommend conservative treatment to see whether some of the symptoms of TMJ disorder will reduce. Examples of non-surgical treatment include:

  • Taking painkillers and anti-inflammatories- your doctor may recommend strong painkillers to deal with pain brought by TMJ disorder. Anti-inflammatories will also be recommended to reduce swelling caused by the disorder.
  • Sticking to soft foods- as earlier mentioned, people with TMJ disorder struggle to chew properly or open their mouths well. So, sticking to soft foods is crucial to ensure you don’t exert excess pressure on the jaw when chewing. You should stick to cooked vegetables and fruits, scrambled eggs, fish, yogurt, mashed potatoes and cheese. On the other hand, you should avoid hard and crunchy foods like caramels, raw carrots and hard rolls.
  • Apply hot and cold compress-an ice pack always comes in handy when you experience pain in your face or jaw area. You can exchange the ice pack with a warm towel and place it on the aching side of your face for about 10 minutes. Repeat this a few times daily, and you will experience TMJ pain relief.
  • Wear a night guard or split- these oral devices fit over your lower or upper teeth. When you wear one, it ensures there is no excess pressure exerted on your teeth. A mouthguard can also correct bite problems by placing your jaw in a more suitable position. It is essential to note that night guards are worn during the night, whereas splints can be worn throughout the day.
  • Avoid unnecessary jaw movements- extreme jaw movements can increase jaw pain and make it challenging for you to chew properly. Instead, you should avoid resting your chin on your hand and yawning and chewing frequently. Moreover, you should learn relaxation techniques to reduce tension in your jaw muscles.

Surgical Treatment Options for TMJ Disorder

If the non-surgical treatments fail to work, the dentist in Edmonton, AB, may recommend surgical treatments. They include:

  • Open joint surgery- if a structural problem in your joint causes your TMJ disorder, the dentist may recommend an open-joint surgery. You should consult with the dentist before undergoing this surgery as risks are involved.
  • Arthrocentesis- this is a minimally invasive treatment that entails the insertion of minute needles into the joint. Next, fluid is irrigated through the needles to the joint to remove inflammatory products and debris.
  • TMJ arthroscopy- during this treatment, a cannula is placed into the joint area, then an arthroscope is inserted, and small surgical equipment is used for surgery. Fortunately, this procedure has fewer risks than open joint surgery, but it would be best to discuss it with the dentist.

TMJ disorder can cause a lot of pain and prevent you from enjoying simple actions like chewing, speaking, and even laughing. So, don’t hesitate to visit Ellerslie Dental Clinic and our dentist will examine your jaw and recommend the most suitable treatment for your disorder.

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