TMJ Disease Treatment
What is TMD?
TMD is also known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. The hinge which connects the upper and lower jaw of the body does not work properly. Due to this complex joint of the body, the lower jaw moves backwards, forwards and side to side. The problem which prevents this complicated set of bones, muscles and ligament discs from working is known as TMD. It feels like your jaw is popping, clicking or getting stuck. The cause of this misalignment is often IMPOSSIBLE/ DIFFICULT to determine.
What is the Temporomandibular Joint?
Your Temporomandibular Joint joins the skull with your jaw and allows your jaw to move smoothly and accurately so that you can talk, chew, and yawn in a proper manner. When this particular joint gets disoriented, it causes TMJ Dysfunction or Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction.
The main causes of TMJ Syndrome are:
- Misalignment and function of teeth
- Different types of arthritis and inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders
It is very important to know the symptoms of this dysfunction. Some of these symptoms are
- Sharp pain while chewing
- Swelling of the jaw on the side of your face
- Tooth grinding
- Popping of the jaw
- Severe headaches
- Dislocation of the Temporomandibular Joint (also known as Locked Jaw.)
- Nerve inflammation
- Jaw joint, jaw muscle, jaw ligament pain.
Symptoms of TMD
These symptoms can occur in other conditions also therefore it is important that you consult your doctor. Total medical history, clinical examination and X rays (SUCH AS MRI, CAD/SCAN) are needed for a proper diagnosis of TMD. Symptoms of TMD include:
- Headache and back pain,
- Popping or clicking sound when you open or close your mouth
- Painful yawning, opening of mouth or chewing
- Jaws that get stuck, locked or go out
- Tender jaw muscles
- Sudden change in the way lower and upper teeth fit
These symptoms occur in areas other than the jaw making the diagnosis difficult. The symptoms are ear ache, neck pain, pinched nerves and obstructed airways.
How do I Know if My Jaw Popping is a Sign of TMD Disorder?
Jaw popping may be a sign of TMJ disorder if it is accompanied by pain, lockjaw or if there is a consistent occurrence.
How is TMJ Diagnosed?
The doctor will do a physical examination and test your jaw and muscle movements. BITE tests will be conducted and a checkup will be done for problems with facial muscles. X rays, MRI, CTscans will be performed.
Home Treatment Remedies for TMJ
Homemade remedies can alleviate TMD associated problems. Exercises for the jaw are recommended. Relaxation exercises must be practiced to reduce pain due to stress. Changes in nutrition to overcome TMD associated deficiencies must take place. Your body must be hydrated. Life style modification must be done to alleviate pain and cure TMD. Hot massage, cold packs application, acupuncture and body massage can be performed. Having a good posture and eating healthy food is recommended.
TMD Treatment Options
Take a look at some safe and effective TMD treatment options to make an informed decision Certain therapies can help with the treatment of TMJ disorders. Medications can help relieve the pain. Medications which are anti-inflammatory, and muscle relaxant might be helpful. Mouth guards, physical therapy and counseling are recommended. Surgical procedures can be performed. Alternative medicine procedures can be used.
Treatment and Prevention
Identification of the cause is the first step. Use a mouth guard if you grind or clench your teeth. Eat food which is soft like cottage cheese, yogurt, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, cooked fish, fruits and vegetables. Don’t rest your chin on your hand.
Treatment of the TMJ Disease
Our office can conduct tests to determine whether you have TMJ Disease or not. There are clients who may experience similar symptoms but might not have TMJ dysfunction. Therefore, a proper diagnosis is needed.
There are 2 types of TMJ Disease Clients:
. Those who are desperate to get rid of the constant pain.. Those who have teeth that are cracking because of the TMJ, but they have no painful TMJ disease. These clients do not realize that the cracking teeth are a direct result of an unhealthy Temporomandibular Joint.
Depending on the diagnosis, you can be recommended occlusion, mouth guards, and splints, which are some of the traditional methods of TMJ treatment.
Exercises which can be done to fight against TMD include performing the alignment of posture, stretching of neck and stretching of the jaw. Strengthening exercises are done to reduce the pain. Another group of exercises which can be done are relaxation exercises. In addition to these you must also take care of your mouth.
Exercise Warnings and Tips
Stop doing the exercise if the pain increases instead of going down. You must practice yoga and meditation to relax yourself. Don’t clench or grind your jaw which can worsen the symptoms of TMJ. Perform the exercises once a day. Apply warm moist heat and eat soft foods.
TMD and Anxiety
TMD has been linked to anxiety and many times it will cause or make the symptoms of anxiety worse. There are nerves and blood vessels at the back of the jaw and TMD can damage these, causing numbness, dizziness and more distress. Treatment will help alleviate this problem and must be taken.
TMD is a disorder affecting the Temporomandibular joint. It is associated with various symptoms which include pain and discomfort in the jaw and other areas. Surgical and non-surgical methods are available to treat this disease. You must eat soft foods and avoid eating hard foods. Research on this condition is still going on. It is best to consult your doctor or surgeon for the proper treatment of TMJ disorder.
Different TMJ conditions
Healthy TMJ “round jaw joints and centered.”
Sclerosed, eroding TMJ
Degenerative TMJ, osteophyte