General Dentistry

What Is the Best Way to Overcome TMJ?

TMJ disorders result from issues with the jaw joints and the surrounding ligaments and muscles. The problem can emanate from trauma, arthritis, an improper bite, or normal wear and tear. Familiar symptoms of TMJ disorders include headaches, earaches, jaw tenderness, and facial pain.

What Is TMJ?

TMJ is the temporomandibular joint on both sides of your face in front of your ears. These joints connect your lower mandible to your skull to help in movements related to chewing and speaking.

Dysfunction of the TMJ is referred to as temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD. The phrases are used interchangeably by many people. Inflammation or irritation of the muscles and ligaments around the jaw joints causes TMJ disorders. The problem can be acute or chronic, resulting in mild to severe pain.

What Is the Main Cause of TMJ?

Wounds to the jaw joints and surrounding tissues are the most common reasons for TMJ disorders. Other conditions that might cause problems include teeth grinding and clenching, dislocation of the ball and socket joint, arthritis in the joint, stress, acute trauma, and an improper bite.

How Are the TMJ Disorders Diagnosed?

The dentist in Bayside diagnoses TMJ disorders during dental checkups. The dentist will observe the extent of motion when you open or close your mouth, pressing around your face and jaw to identify areas of discomfort and feel around your jaw joints, asking you to open and close your mouth. In addition, the professional might also recommend x-rays, CBCT scans, and MRI scans to view your facial anatomy comprehensively.

The Bayside dentist, a TMJ specialist near you, specializes in treating skeletal conditions like TMJ disorders.

How Long Does TMJ Take to Heal?

In many cases, TMJ disorders tend to disappear by themselves without treatment. However, if you experience persistent discomfort in the jaw joints affecting your quality of life, you might have to seek TMJ treatment in Bayside, NY, to manage or overcome the condition.

Treatments for TMJ disorders range from simple and traditional therapies to injections and surgery. Experts believe TMJ treatment should start conservatively with nonsurgical therapies and surgery recommended only as a last resort. Some of the therapies mentioned below work by combining with one another to provide relief from TMJ disorders.

The TMJ specialist nearby might recommend applying heat or cold packs to the side of your face for approximately 10 minutes for acute pain. They also recommend exercises like simple stretching for your jaw and applying moist heat to the side of your face after exercising.

You must start having soft foods to prevent your jaw from working overtime and rely on foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, soup, fish, cooked fruits and vegetables, et cetera. Avoid complex, crunchy, and chewy foods when experiencing TMJ pain and refrain from chewing gum.

The specialist might recommend medications to relieve pain and swelling, including narcotic analgesics. If you are affected by bruxism, you might receive a recommendation for muscle relaxants to help relax your tight jaw. Low doses of antidepressants can also help suppress or control TMJ pain.

If you need corrective dental treatments for missing teeth or braces to balance your bite and jaw alignment, you might need to seek orthodontic treatment to help correct misaligned jaw joints. The therapies mentioned are nonsurgical and can be performed at home with help from a specialist or a therapist to guide you in exercising your jaw besides using the medications.

Alternative Therapies for TMJ Disorders

TMJ specialists also recommend alternative therapies for TMJ disorders with conventional treatments. The therapies might include relaxation techniques such as meditation to slow your breathing and relax tense muscles to reduce the discomfort associated with this condition. Acupuncture also helps to stimulate your body’s natural healing process by inserting thin needles into your body at various points to trigger your central nervous system. Sometimes you may receive referrals to a pain psychologist or pain management facility to help find relief from your symptoms.

The medical fraternity has been unable to identify the precise reasons for TMJ disorders. In addition, these issues can develop from various conditions and disappear by themselves with or without therapy, swinging on the cause of the problem. However, it is best to get yourself diagnosed with this problem if you experience persistent pain in the jaw, especially from misalignments or your teeth not fitting correctly. These situations can create chronic conditions that only improve with treatment.

Dental Expressions by Dr. Gary Bram provides therapies for TMJ disorders using conservative and nonsurgical techniques. If you experience persistent jaw pain and intend to find a solution to the issue, kindly schedule your appointment with this practice to receive TMJ treatment from a specialist.

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