If you are experiencing persistent pain and difficulty when it comes to chewing and speaking, you might be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). While the condition is complex, there are a number of treatments available that can help relieve your pain. Let’s take a look at some of the most common treatments for TMJ.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a complex condition that causes pain in the jaw joint and muscles. It can cause difficulties with speaking, chewing and other functions of the jaw. TMJ is most commonly caused by dental issues such as an imbalance of the bite, misaligned teeth or missing or damaged teeth. Stress can also be a contributing factor, as it can lead to increased clenching and grinding of the jaw. These symptoms can be part of workers injuries, or workers may suffer on-the-job injuries that lead to TMJ. Symptoms of TMJ may include persistent pain in the face, neck and shoulders; clicking or popping sounds when you open and close your mouth; headaches; earaches; hearing loss, dizziness or vertigo; and problems opening your mouth wide enough to eat.
In conjunction with seeing a licensed dentist, they may prescribe some of the following for a patient with a TMJ treatment:
Physical therapy is often recommended as a first line-treatment for those with TMJ. Physical therapists can work with you to identify specific factors that may be causing the discomfort, such as jaw alignment or clenching and grinding. They will then develop an individualized exercise program for you that can help reduce pain, improve joint mobility and restore normal function in your jaw. The exercises may include stretching, strengthening and stabilization techniques.
Sometimes medications are also prescribed as part of a treatment plan for TMJ. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used to reduce inflammation and decrease pain related to the condition. Muscle relaxants can also be prescribed if your jaw muscles are tight or spasming due to TMJ. If anxiety is contributing to your symptoms, antidepressants or antianxiety medications might also be recommended.
Some people find relief through alternative treatments such as acupuncture, massage therapy or chiropractic care. These treatments can help reduce tension in the jaw muscles and promote relaxation in other areas of the body in order to provide relief from TMJ discomfort. Botox injections have also been shown to provide temporary relief by reducing muscle tension in the jaw area while providing relaxation of painful facial muscles throughout the day.
It’s important to note that no one treatment works best for all patients; different people may require different types of therapies depending on their individual needs and preferences. Speak with your doctor about which treatments would be right for you so that you can make an informed decision tailored to your specific situation.
To find a dentist in your area that treats TMJ, do a quick online search for reviews and ask for recommendations from friends and family. If you suffered workers injuries that lead to TMJ, you can also ask your lawyer from Roger Davie for recommendations.