TMJ disorders are jaw conditions that affect the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) responsible for the movements of your mouth muscles. A functioning TMJ allows smooth jaw movements during various natural activities such as chewing, laughing, talking, and smiling. If this joint becomes dysfunctional, it can lead to pain that can be aggravated by various habits that might strain your jaw. If left untreated, TMJ symptoms might deteriorate, leading to chronic jaw disorders. Fortunately, through a Carthay TMJ treatment specialist, you can receive the best treatment that can help alleviate your symptoms. Here are five effective TMJ treatment options to consider to live a pain-free life.
1. Lifestyle Modifications
Most TMJ symptoms usually go away on their own without needing treatment. However, if you have persistent mild symptoms, you can try making some lifestyle changes as your doctor recommends. These lifestyle changes include jaw exercises, massaging the jaw muscles, eating soft food, and avoiding stress which can cause your muscles to tense up.
2. Jaw Injections
Botox and corticosteroid injections can temporarily relieve TMJ symptoms such as inflammation and chronic jaw pain. This treatment option is minimally invasive, has fewer side effects, and takes less than 30 minutes to complete. Botox jaw injections paralyze the muscles to prevent clenching and allow muscle relaxation.
3. Bite Alignment/Correction
Dental bite issues or malocclusion can affect your jaw muscles by straining or clenching them. You can treat moderate TMJ symptoms and reduce the risk of long-term chronic pain through bite correction techniques or devices such as bite guards. TMJ and bruxism mouthguards are the best and most effective bite guards that reposition, cushion, and stabilize the jaw, preventing further muscle damage.
Pharmacotherapy is a treatment option that involves using certain medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, opiates, and tranquilizers to manage TMJ symptoms. Each of these drugs reduces pain caused by TMJ and stabilizes your stress levels. They also relax your muscles to avoid clenching or straining in your jaw.
5. Arthroscopy and Arthrocentesis Procedures
When all the above treatment options have failed, you might need to consider an arthroscopy or arthrocentesis procedure. These procedures are minimally invasive and have a short recovery period of a week or less. The arthroscopy procedure involves inserting a fiber-optic camera into the joint to investigate what might be causing your TMJ symptoms.
The arthrocentesis procedure is quite similar to the arthroscopy procedure. However, it involves using a syringe and needle to drain fluid from your TMJ. Your doctor then uses the fluid for laboratory purposes to determine what might be causing your TMJ condition.
Jaw surgery is usually the last resort in treating a TMJ disorder. It involves repositioning, repairing, and in some extreme cases, removing and replacing the entire jaw. Jaw surgeries are invasive and require to be done under general anesthesia. They also take longer to recover and require regular check-ups with your doctor to ensure successful healing.
Are you experiencing pain or discomfort in your jaw muscles? Contact Smile Perfector Dental Group to consult on the best treatment option for you. You will receive the best advice to relieve your symptoms in the safest, quickest, and most effective way. Call their office number for further instructions or schedule an appointment to discuss the best and most appropriate TMJ treatment option for you.