What to Expect During TMJ Treatment?

What to Expect During TMJ Treatment?

Jun 01, 2022

TMJ treatment is for the temporomandibular joints located where the skull and jawbone join. This joint is important as it allows your jaw to slide up and down, enabling you to chew and talk with ease.

When you have issues in your temporomandibular joints, this disorder causes stiffness and pain. Another symptom is that you might be unable to move your jaw to its full range of motion.

The good news is that TMJ disorder is treatable, and we will take you through all you need to know about TMJ treatment in Petaluma, CA, and the common causes of TMJ disorder.

What is TMJ Treatment?

Before your dentist or doctor can begin with the treatment plan, they will diagnose to determine the severity of your TMJ disorder. The diagnosis involves using dental x-rays to examine your jaw and teeth and a CT scan to show a clear picture of the bones in your jaw. An MRI scan can also be carried out to reveal the issues you might have in your jaw and the surrounding area.

There are different methods used to treat TMJ disorders. First, some medications are used to treat TMJ disorder. These include anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers, which can relieve the pain caused by TMJ disorder. When you visit the dental office near you, the dentist will be able to prescribe a strong pain killer that will reduce the pain caused by the disorder.

Another nonsurgical treatment dentists use to relieve pain associated with TMJ disorder is tricyclic antidepressants. These medications are used for sleeplessness and bruxism control.

Muscle relaxant drugs can be recommended for a few weeks to help with the pain brought about by TMJ disorder. The disorder can cause muscle spasms, and the muscle relaxant drugs will reduce the pain.

There are non-drug therapies that are used to treat TMJ disorder. First, there is physical therapy that the dentist near you can recommend you go through. Physical therapy involves stretching your jaw muscles along with moist heat and ice and ultrasound therapy. This will help strengthen your jaw.

Your dentist can recommend a mouth guard or oral splints. These occlusal appliances are helpful in relieving jaw pain.

Some factors aggravate jaw pain. Through counseling, the dentist will help you know what things you might be doing that increase the pain in your jaw. Steering away from these behaviors will reduce pain and help with the alignment of your jaw. Examples of the behavior you will be counseled against are biting fingernails, leaning on your chin, and teeth clenching.

Surgical procedures can be used to treat TMJ disorder. Open joint surgery is one of them. The surgery is used when other non-invasive treatments have failed. The surgeon will remove excess tissue or bone growths in the jaw area. The surgery also involves repairing and repositioning the jaw disc if damaged or out of place.

Arthroscopy is another surgical procedure that is used to treat TMJ disorder. A small hole or holes are created on the skin above the temporomandibular joint. Through the hole, the surgeon can work on the TMJ. This type of surgery is less invasive than open surgery, and therefore you will recover in a few days to a week.

Arthrocentesis, a surgery performed on the TMJ, is performed by injecting fluid into the joint. The fluid injected washes chemical byproducts of inflammation and will also reduce the pressure that makes the joint painful and stiff. This will enable you to move your jaw.

Common Causes of TMJ Disorder

There are different causes of TMJ disorder. It is important to note that the joint is protected by a cover of cartilage separated by a shock-absorbing disk. This disk keeps the movement of the jaw smooth.

TMJ disorder occurs when this shock-absorbing disk moves out from its natural position. The pain of TMJ disorder can also be caused when the disk erodes.

Another cause of TMJ disorder is when the cartilage that covers the TMJ is damaged by arthritis.

When you are involved in an accident, the impact can cause injury and damage to your jaw. The symptoms of TMJ disorder can arise from this impact.