Frequently Asked Questions About TMJ Treatment
Temporomandibular Joint (or TMJ) Syndrome is something with which many people suffer. Its primary symptom is pain in the sides of the face, where the jawbone is connected to the skull. An increasing number of people seem to be diagnosed with it. Medical professionals are not sure if there is an environmental reason for it, or if it is just a better known syndrome than it was in years past. If you think you might have TMJ Syndrome and need treatment for it, you should consult with a medical professional, but understanding the answers to some frequently answered questions can be a helpful start. TMJ Treatment
FAQ #1 About TMJ Treatment: How does TMJ work? TMJ TreatmentTMJ Treatment
The TMJ joint, or TMJ, is a ball and socket joint. It is located on both sides of your face, just in front of the ears. The term TMJ also refers to the temporomandibular joint and the related joint that’s located between the jaw bone and the skull.
Certain conditions known as trauma, and in some cases genetics, can cause the TMJ to develop problems. These include injuries to the jaw, which can cause the cartilage between the bones to swell and become inflamed; grinding the teeth, which wears the teeth down more than normal and can cause the jaw to move unevenly or to mis-align; and arthritis, which can cause the joints to become inflamed and effect the entire joint.
When the TMJ’s are damaged, they work differently. With trauma, the jaw can become locked or in incorrect positions. With arthritis, the joints in the jaw don’t work quite as they normally do, and they may make clicking and popping sounds even though you are not chewing.
FAQ #2 About TMJ Treatment: What are TMJ symptoms?
When the TMJ’s are damaged, they can produce swelling and pain, and sometimes even swelling and pain in the face. One of the most common symptoms is pain in the face because of the compressibility of the jaw joint. Another symptom is Lock Jaw, where you have a temporary inability to open your jaw or to close it. Most TMJ sufferers have clicking in their jaw, and even a flat out lock jaw, which is a bit like a permanent bite problem. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see your dentist for an evaluation and treatment.
FAQ #3 About TMJ Treatment: Is TMJ discomfort permanent?
In most cases, TMJ discomfort is temporary. However, it is possible to develop TMJ dysfunction. This happens when the jaw is misaligned, though the condition is so slight as to be negligible. As it turns out, TMJ dysfunction is becoming more and more prevalent, even in people who don’t have arthritis in their jaw!
FAQ #4 About TMJ Treatment: How can I treat my TMJ?
Dealing with TMJ dysfunction will depend on the underlying cause. There are a number of natural remedies for dealing with TMJ, though you’re best bet is to see a dentist who specializes in treating TMJ dysfunction.
o Most conventional pain relief methods don’t work – please see your dentist or physical therapist for treatment.
o Over-the-counter painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen may work for some people. However, because they are antidepressants, they have a side effect of reducing inflammation, which just worsens TMJ pain.
o Massage your jaw and hold it open for a while – this is one of the most effective ways to deal with TMJ pain.
o Use a hot or cold compress on the jaw – this can provide a temporary relief for TMJ pain.
o Stick to a soft diet – eating soft foods like rice, pudding, and yogurt has been proven to provide relief for some people with TMJ dysfunction.
o Avoid anything that will cause your TMJ to work against you, like jaw-action exercises and surgery.
o Avoid tobacco and alcohol.
o If your TMJ persists, see your dentist for further assessment.
o If you have a misaligned jaw, consult your dentist for a possible orthodontic adjustment.
o If you have a filling or other dental work that needs to be done, consult your dentist for an alternative.
o pineapples in the morning and pineapples in the evening are good exercise for your jaws.
o If you have a combination of problems, ask your dentist to help you determine the best course of treatment.
o Check with your doctor to see if there are any dental problems that have been prompted your TMJ.
o Discussing these problems with your doctor and dentist will lead to a better understanding about TMJ dysfunction and its treatment.