What You Need to Know About TMJ Therapy
The temporal mandibular joints give your jaw the ability to move freely, allowing you to eat and speak normally. The joints can, however, get damaged with constant use. Symptoms of infection include swollen tissues around the jaw and constant jaw pains.
On top of regular jaw usage, TMDs can also be caused by stress. This is because the majority of people clench their jaws and stressing the joints, and this could cause significant damage. Fortunately, Yonge Eglinton Dental Care has dentists that provide an effective and tailored TMJ massage and therapy to make your life more comfortable.
Before a TMJ headache treatment, your dentist has to review and discuss your symptoms to validate them. He then examines your jaw to establish the most notorious symptom. Your dentist will do the following:
- Examine your jaw with opening and closing of the mouth using their fingers
- Observe how far the jaw moves with any activity
- Press on the jaw area to establish painful regions and sites of discomfort
You might need the following if your doctor suspects a disorder.
- Dental X-rays for further jaw and teeth examination
- CT scans provide detailed imaging of the bones within the joint
- MRI scans reveal anomalies in the joint’s disc and the neighboring soft tissue
A TMJ disorder can also be diagnosed by the method of TMJ arthroscopy. Here a tiny thin tube called a cannula is inserted inside the joint area. With the help of an arthroscope, a small camera, your dentist is able to make a diagnosis of your jaw.
Symptoms of TMJ, in some cases, go away by themselves without any treatment or jaw massage. Our dentists, however, recommend that you consider the treatment options available if the symptoms persist.
The following medications work to relieve joint pains, and other distresses that come with TMDs.
- Pain Killers – and specific anti-inflammatories can relieve joint pains. If they aren’t effective, your dentist then recommends a stronger dosage of pain relievers for a limited time.
- Tricyclic antidepressants – these mostly are depression medications but can control pain, bruxism, and insomnia if administered in small doses.
- Muscle relaxants – can be used for a short time period to relieve pain caused by muscle contractions.
With these, no medicine is required. They include:
- Mouth Guards – These are soft and firm dental devices placed in the mouth of a patient to control joint pains.
- Physical Therapy – it involves exercises that strengthen and stretches the jaw muscles. Among them is jaw massage, ultrasound, ice, heat, and moist exercises.
- Personal Counselling – Apparently, being equipped with the knowledge about habits that can aggravate jaw pains can help you evade them. The habits include tooth grinding, clenching, biting on fingernails, and leaning on the chin.
Surgical and In-office Procedures
Your doctor will suggest these if other methods don’t work.
- Arthrocentesis – This procedure irrigates a curing fluid into the joint using needles inserted from the joint’s exterior. They remove wreckages and possible inflammatory side-effects.
- Injections – a pain-relieving drug is injected into the jaw and helps alleviate the pain caused by TMDs.
- TMJ Arthroscopy – Just as with exposed-joint surgery, this procedure treats a number of TMJ disorders. Small tools are used for surgery after insertion of a tiny thin tube (cannula) and an arthroscope. Risks involved with this procedure are minimal compared to open surgery.
- Modified Condylotomy – This therapy indirectly addresses the problem, ass the surgery is done on the mandible and not o the joint itself. It’s recommended for pain and jaw locking.
- Open-joint surgery – if the ‘more conservative’ procedures don’t relieve the pain experienced, your dentist opts for open surgery to either repair or replace the joints. This procedure, however, comes with many risks and possible side effects than other treatments.
- Don’t overuse your jaw muscles. This can be achieved by avoiding hard foods by all means. Cut large chunks of food into small pieces. Avoid sticky substances and chewy food such as gum.
- Your doctor will give advice on simple exercises that will help expand and strengthen your jaw muscles. He/she will also show you how to correctly massage your jaws.
- To ease the pain, you can place ice on the side of your cheek. A warm and moist cloth will also do the job.
Before setting for surgery, be sure to consult with your dentist on the potential risks involved as well as benefits, and what other options you have.