TMJ stands for “temporomandibular joint,” also known as your jaw joint. When pain and/or compromised movement occurs within the joint you may have a condition referred to as TMJ disorder, or TMD for short. Many people refer to it simply as “having TMJ.”
There are several ways to ease the discomfort of and prevent TMJ/TMD from reoccurring. The treatment option that’s best for you will depend on the severity of your condition.
For some patients, TMJ disorder is a flare-up that they experience every now and then. For others, it’s a condition that inhibits their lifestyle in a big way on a regular basis. Our Phoenix dentist can help you pinpoint the cause of your TMJ and help you resolve the issue.
Some common treatment options worth considering include:
Rehabilitation of The Jaw Joint
Your TMJ flare up could be a temporary condition that was caused by overuse of the joint and muscles in that area. This could be due to eating very hard foods or chewing on gum for long periods of time.
Rehabilitation is a great way to cure your TMJ disorder. You’ll notice a great sense of relief by simply avoiding the things that caused the condition. Allowing the jaw to rest will allow the TMJ to heal on its own. You can also gently massage the area, apply warm, moist heat or a cold compress.
During times of stress, some people clench their teeth. Doing so can cause you to have a headache, earache, and significant jaw pain. If you occasionally become victim to the effects that stress has on your TMJ, our Phoenix dentist may opt to prescribe you medication. An anti-inflammatory, taken along with a muscle relaxer, will free up the stiff joint and give you relief within a few days.
Wearing an Occlusal Guard
If clenching becomes a regular problem, or grinding occurs as well, our Phoenix dentist may choose to go with a more long-term solution.
A nightguard, also known as an occlusal guard, is an acrylic device that fits over your teeth. It looks much like a mouthguard that athletes wear. The appliance puts your jaw in a rested position, which prevents you from grinding and clenching your teeth. A nightguard not only relieves pressure off of your TMJ, but it also keeps your teeth safe from physical damage.
Going Through Orthodontics
If your teeth are in malocclusion (not aligned properly), that could be the cause of your jaw issue. In this case, our Phoenix dentist may recommend that you go through orthodontic treatment to correct the problem.
In more serious situations there could be bone spurs, adhesions, or even tumors present on the jaw joint that are causing the problem. If found, our dentist will recommend that you have jaw surgery to fixed the problem. This severity is usually quite rare.
Receiving Your Diagnoses
If you’ve been experiencing jaw problems, then come to see Phoenix dentist Dr. Behbahani at Central Valley Dentistry. We’ll evaluate your condition and recommend the appropriate TMJ treatment. Schedule your appointment today. We look forward to meeting you!