TMJ, also called TMD, affects millions of Americans. This particular condition affects the temporomandibular joints, leaving you with the excruciating jaw, joint, and facial pain. It can even cause headaches, earaches, and pain in your neck, shoulders, and back. Victor Nitu DDS can diagnose the cause of your TMJ issues and provide you with the treatment you need to alleviate your pain.
What Do the Temporomandibular Joints Do?
The temporomandibular joints are typically referred at the TMJ. These are joint in your mouth that connects the lower jaw to your skull, and they are some of the most frequently used joints in your whole body. The TMJ can rotate in many different directions, which helps you to open and close your mouth, enabling you to eat, speak, and so much more.
How Do You Get TMJ/TMD?
Any issue affecting your temporomandibular joints is called temporomandibular joint disorder. This condition is commonly called TMD, or even TMJ. There is no singular cause of injury or inflammation in these joints. There are several issues that can contribute to the condition. Stress is one of the most common. Stress can cause bruxism or teeth grinding and clenching. The extreme pressure exerted can wear on your jaws and joints, causing significant pain. Other issues that can cause TMJ include: poor alignment of the jaws or teeth, facial injuries including jaw dislocation, and arthritis.
What Treatments are Used for TMJ/TMD?
Treatment for TMJ will depend upon what has caused it. We can help to determine the cause with a dental exam. A common treatment for TMJ is a nighttime mouthguard. This is an oral appliance that you wear on your teeth while you sleep. While it doesn’t treat the cause of your TMJ, it does help to alleviate the symptoms by absorbing the impact of bruxism, keeping the pressure off of your teeth, jaw, and joints. For poor alignment, orthodontic treatment may be recommended.
Can I Treat TMJ/TMD at Home?
There are plenty of home remedies that may be able to help stop your TMJ. These treatments might involve adjusting what you eat to avoid hard, crunchy foods, taking an over the counter pain reliever, or practicing stress relief. Jaw exercises, facial massage, or heat and cold packs may also help. However, if you are finding that these treatments are not working, it is important that you schedule an appointment.
Do I Need Surgery?
Surgery for TMJ is saved as a last effort when no other treatments have proven effective. It is also reserved for more severe situations. This is because it is the most invasive treatment. If you have been recommended surgery, it is because we believe that it is the best possible option to provide you with the best possible results. Surgical treatments that may be recommended to treat TMJ include arthrocentesis, arthroscopy, and open joint surgery. If more conservative treatments have not provided you with the relief you need, surgical options may then be discussed.
The right treatment can help to alleviate your TMJ pain, which can be a great relief for sufferers. For more information, call Victor Nitu DDS at (480) 536-8228 today.