Unleashing The Most Effective Treatment Modalities For TMJ Pain 

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is an important musculoskeletal joint that acts as a gliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. Any disorder or disease can lead to pain and discomfort. Most often TMJ dysfunction is caused due to arthritis, injury, usual wear and tear, or bruxism (excessive teeth grinding). This can negatively impact your quality of life. Thus, early detection and prompt treatment are crucial. 

The dentist in Kips Bay, New York, and their skilled team of professionals offer effective and long-lasting pain relief treatments for TMJ pain. Read on to explore the potential treatment options. 

What causes TMJ pain? 

The causes for TMJ may include any one of the following:

  • Trauma to the jaw (dislocated, or fractured jaw)
  • Bruxism (abnormal teeth grinding or clenching)
  • Arthritis of the jaw bone (inflammation)
  • Malocclusion (when your upper and lower teeth don’t fit usually when in contact)
  • Chronic stress
  • Connective tissue disease

How can you diagnose TMJ disorders?

Your dentist will evaluate your symptoms and order radiographic imaging of your jaw. These include dental X-rays, a CT (Computed Tomography) scan, or an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).

Additionally, a special test known as jaw tracing may be recommended to assess your jaw functions. This helps the dentist to plan the further course of action. 

What are the treatment options for treating TMJ disorders? 

TMJ treatment depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the pain. Your dentist will initially evaluate your TMJ clinically and assess your requirements before designing a customized treatment plan. 

This may include:

  • Medications
  • Prescription and OTC (over-the-counter) medications help ease the pain.
  • These include:
    • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
    • Muscle relaxants
  • Physical therapy
  • This includes ultrasound, moist heat, or ice therapy. 
  • Splint therapy
  • This is a non-surgical treatment option, also known as oral appliance therapy. 
  • These dental devices help ease pain by relieving the pressure from the muscles surrounding the joint allowing them to relax. 
  • Orthodontic intervention
  • Orthodontists can help correct malocclusions such as overbite, underbite, or open bite, by using orthodontic appliances such as braces and palatal expanders to reduce TMJ muscle spasms.  

Final note 

TMJ dysfunction could cause debilitating symptoms negatively impacting your quality of life. But you do not have to suffer from it all your life. If the symptoms keep you from enjoying your life, discuss it with your dentist. They can find the cause and offer treatment that suits you best.