Also known as temporomandibular joint disorder, this condition affects the joint attached to a patient’s lower jaw and skull. The condition may cause pain in the joint itself and any muscles, and nerves that attached onto it. It may also create injuries that will affect the neck and jaw. Many patients who experience TMJ are unsure of the best way to deal with it. Some cases do not require a visit to your St. Albert dentist and can be managed from the comfort of your home. In other cases, professional treatments may be required.
What Exactly is TMJ?
TMJ is a common, painful condition that will affect your jaw and the joint that attaches it to the base of your skull. In most cases, your dentist may not be sure how and why the TMJ is being caused, since the symptoms can arise because of multiple reasons; that said, medical experts believe it may stem from issues with the joint itself. Accidents that may cause TMJ are also a possible reason for it, such as whiplash.
How is the Issue Diagnosed?
Due to the common symptoms, your dentist will need to examine your facial structure before determining if the cause of pain is TMJ. They may conduct a physical exam and ask questions about your health to help determine a course of treatment and how to minimize the symptoms.
Once the dentist concludes it is a temporomandibular joint disorder, a few more tests will be able to officially confirm the diagnosis. They will ask for x-rays or MRI scans to give them more information and understand how to help you.
Depending on your specific needs and situation, your dentist may recommend different TMJ treatments in St. Albert. These may vary between giving patients special medication, dental procedures, mouthguards, or surgery. Other recommendations, such as at-home treatment, may include using hot and cold compresses to help with pain or swelling. In addition, your dentist may also advise you to follow a soft foods diet to help.
Treatments for TMJ
Injection and Electrical Therapy
Your dentist may treat your TMJ with lasers, sound, or electric therapy. These treatments can help reduce pain and swelling and restore any ability the patient has lost due to the discomfort. A dentist may inject pain medicine directly into the muscle for quick relief. A common form of electric therapy is TENS, also known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, which uses an electric current and relaxes your muscle to reduce pain. This treatment may be done at home or a dental office.
This may be an option if other treatments fail. Your dentist will not immediately opt for surgery and will try alternative solutions to ensure a successful result before choosing surgery. Surgery options for TMJ relief include arthrocentesis, arthroscopy, and open-join surgery.
At Home Treatments
While you may be waiting for treatment at your local dental office, there are a few at-home remedies you can try to relieve your TMJ. Begin by applying a cold or hot pack to the location of discomfort. This will help relax your muscles and relieve pain temporarily. In addition to this, perform jaw exercises that will help stretch and strengthen your jaw. After doing the exercises suggested by your dentist, apply a warm compress for a few minutes.
Along with the home remedies, adhere to a diet that emphasizes soft foods if possible, to avoid excessive chewing and so your jaw isn’t overworked. Eat foods such as yogurt, soup, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, cooked soft vegetables, and soft fruit. Avoid any crunchy or chewy snacks.
TMJ Treatment Near Me
Tired of searching the web for a “dentist near me?” Search no further! Dentus Family Dental offers high-quality services, including TMJ treatment, to help you deal with various issues. Our friendly staff will be happy to assist you in booking an appointment!