Do you know there are more than 3 million cases of TMJ disorders in the US per year? TMJ disorder affects people of all ages, but people between 19 to 60 age groups are at a higher risk.
TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction. It is also known as TMD – Temporomandibular Disorders.
This disorder is associated with the pain and problems in the temporomandibular joint, which is a hinged bone that connects jaws to the temporal bones of the skull. It acts as a sliding hinge to allow easy movement while you talk, chew, yawn, and move your jaw up, down, and sideways. TMJ disorders can negatively affect your jaw movement and compromise the basic motion of your jaw and face muscles.
The exact cause of TMJ disorder is not determined. Dentists believe certain lifestyle factors are the common causes of TMJ disorder. Some possible reasons:
The common symptoms of TMJ disorder can include any of the following:
Seek dental help for early treatment if you are unable to open or close your jaw completely or experience chronic pain and discomfort in your jaw’s joints.
Early diagnosis of TMJ can help it get treated with simple non-surgical treatments while severe TMJ disorders may need surgical treatment.
During the early treatment, dentists conduct a physical exam and prescribe medications and dental guards for relief. If necessary, X-rays, MRI and/or CT scan of the jaws and temporomandibular joints may be required to further assess the disorder. If any structural issues are present, your dentist may recommend surgery. The treatment options for TMJ disorder include:
The group of medications prescribed for pain relief could include suitable Pain Relievers, Tricyclic Antidepressants, Muscle Relaxants, and Sedatives.
Dental Guards (Night Guards/Mouth Guards), Physical Therapy (Heat & Cold Compressions), Ultrasound, Low-Level Laser Therapy, Radio Wave Therapy, Local Anesthesia and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS).
When the TMJ disorder doesn’t respond to other procedures, your dentist may recommend surgical procedures such as Arthrocentesis, Arthroscopy, Open-Joint Surgery, Corticosteroid Injections and TMJ Surgery.
Finally, when TMJ disorder heals properly, your dentist can follow up with dental procedures as dental implants, crowns or bridges to replace missing teeth, and use braces to balance the alignment of your teeth, jaw and face.
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