TMJ which is called temporomandibular joint disorder, and it’s super painful to deal with. Usually, it can lead to pain within the jawbone and jaw muscles. This is essentially the hinge that connects the jaw to the skull, and sometimes it can cause jaw movements to become a problem, and it can compromise the activity of this. Usually, you feel tenderness and pain in the jaw, pain from the joints or even from the TMJ area. It also can cause pain in the ear, facial muscle aches, or even issues with opening and closing the mouths. Fortunately, there are many different ways to alleviate these symptoms. You usually have three choices: medication, surgery, or therapy.
With medications, usually, it’s combined with the other two. Usually, they involve anti-inflammatory pain relievers, and while usually, the medication isn’t enough to handle TMJ pain, the dentist will give you something stronger and it does create a temporary relief. Plus, it is anti-inflammatory so there is that. You may also get some anti-depressants because they can be good for pain relief and from any combatting depression that may come up. you’ll want to speak to your doctor about this though. The final medication is muscle relaxants, which usually take weeks to kick in, but they’re usually the most effective means to treat the pain from TMJ.
When it comes to therapy, you can typically get some small options that don’t require drugs. For example, a mouth guard is used with TMJ, so that the pain is reduced when you see a soft, firm device such as a mouth guard that’s placed over the teeth. You also can get physical therapy to address this, and usually, these exercises will strengthen your jaw muscles once more.
Finally, you get counseling because usually, the discomfort that’s associated with TMJ is because the condition is aggravated. For example, teeth grinding or leaning on the chin might be happening due to stress, and you can avoid this to prevent it from worsening.
Then there are surgical treatments you can get. The first is arthrocentesis, which I a process of inserting needles into the joints of the jaw to get rid of debris and other products that cause inflammation. You can also get injections, such as botox, that can help with jawbone pain. TMJ arthroscopy is another open-joint surgery used to treat this, where a thin tube is put on the joints and uses miniature tools for surgery. It is less intrusive but it’s got limitations.
Then there is open-joint surgery, where if all else fails, the dentist will deal with some of the issues itself, but there are risks to it.
So why does it matter? Well TMJ is very painful, and getting it treated makes a world of a difference. But, you need to make sure you get the right options for treatment since it can ultimately be a huge factor in the success of it. Common TMJ treatments are important, and you should see your dentist about them whenever possible.