TMJ is a condition of the jaw that doesn’t always have a clear cause or an obvious road for treatment. Before you Google “TMJ treatment near me” and make an appointment, it is a good idea to know what TMJ is and which treatment options are out there. These are the facts that you need to know to find the right professional and treatment options to reduce your TMJ suffering today!
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint in the jaw connects your skull to your jawbone. You have two joints located on either side of your mouth. TMJ is a condition where your jaw joints and muscles hurt; in some extreme cases, it can lead to failure to control your jawbone and its movement. The cause of TMJ is often not clear or easy to pinpoint; it can stem from many factors, including teeth grinding and genetics. Often, TMJ symptoms go away on their own and are temporary, with surgery being the last resort only after all other attempts to ameliorate the conditions are unsuccessful.
What are the Symptoms of TMJ?
The symptoms of TMJ can vary greatly from one patient to the next; in general, however, they include:
- Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
- Tenderness in your jaw
- Pain and aching around your ear
- Joint locking, difficulty opening and closing your mouth
- Facial pain
In some instances, TMJ can produce a clicking or grating sound, but unless you have any jaw malfunction from it, it is usually harmless.
Treatment for TMJ
In many instances, TMJ symptoms clear up as quickly as they appeared and do not require any treatment options. However, if your pain and symptoms persist, then you might want to consider treatment options.
Medications are often helpful alongside other modalities or treatment options for TMJ. These are some of the medications that might help:
Anti-inflammatories and pain relievers – Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and acute pain medicines can often help for a short while.
Muscle relaxants – Sometimes the muscle spasms that can accompany TMJ can be made better with muscle relaxants.
Non-drug treatment options for TMJ include:
Mouth guards or oral splints – If TMJ is exacerbated by clenching or grinding, then a device holding your jaw still is a great way to take some of the pressure off.
Physical therapy – Some patients find relief with muscle exercises that strengthen the jaw muscles; physical therapy might also include ultrasound, ice, and heat
Botox for TMJ
At Tatum Dentistry, we offer botox for TMJ in Charleston. For those who aren’t helped with other types of therapies, Botox is a viable option because it has been shown to reduce pain and increase muscle movements for up to 90 days post treatment.
If you are going to tackle your TMJ symptoms in the new year, don’t just Google “TMJ treatment near me” – make an appointment with Dr. Tatum to discuss how we can help alleviate your TMJ pain today!