TMJ DISORDERS – DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) syndrome is a general term that refers to several disorders that may arise from various causes and present with symptoms of varying severity. The TMJ is responsible for opening and closing the mouth, and it is one of the most frequently used joints in the body. While a healthy TMJ can perform its functions without pain, individuals with TMJ syndrome may experience pain and headaches during jaw movements.
There are various treatment options currently in use for the treatment of TMD (temporomandibular disorder). Your TMJ dentist Laguna Niguel can advise you on which treatment option is best for you. TMD treatment Laguna Niguel helps to treat TMJ symptoms, thereby preventing its progression to chronic TMD.
Symptoms Of TMJ Syndrome
It is important to note that the symptoms of TMJ syndrome may differ depending on the cause. However, there are general symptoms that can usually be indicative of TMD. Common symptoms include:
- Difficulty and pain when opening the mouth
- Persistent headaches
- Severe neck pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Rattling or clicking sounds in the mouth
Note that experiencing these symptoms does not mean you have a TMD. To get a proper diagnosis, visit a TMD dentist in Laguna Niguel.
Treatment Options For TMJ Syndrome
Just like its symptoms, the treatment of TMJ syndrome also depends on its cause. Discussed below are some TMJ treatment Laguna Niguel options.
- Self-treatment: TMD symptoms in most people usually resolve on their own without the need to visit TMJ dentistry Laguna Niguel. You can also make a few lifestyle modifications to relieve the symptoms of TMJ syndrome. Eating soft foods, refraining from chewing gum, massaging your jaw muscles, applying compresses, and avoiding wide yawning are a few lifestyle modifications that can greatly reduce the symptoms of TMJ syndrome.
- Physiotherapy: In treating TMJ syndrome with physiotherapy, stretching exercises, ultrasonography, and electromyographic biofeedback are all used. Along with electromyographic biofeedback, your dentist, Laguna Niguel may recommend counseling for stress management. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may also be performed to promote joint and muscle relaxation.
- Drugs: Various drugs can be used to manage the symptoms of TMJ syndrome. Drugs usually include cyclobenzaprine and other muscle relaxants to reduce tension and discomfort, and NSAIDs and other analgesics like paracetamol contribute to pain relief. People with trouble falling asleep occasionally use sedatives, and antidepressants might be suggested for people with chronic illnesses.
Assessment Of TMJ Syndrome Treatments
While there have been benefits to some of the treatment methods discussed below, these treatment methods still have some cons, which has exposed them to criticism. Below are some TMD treatment options that have received criticism.
- Surgery: This treatment method is criticized as it cannot be undone once applied. Another drawback that has brought criticism to this treatment method is the lack of research into its efficacy and safety. As a result, it is not recommended to attempt it on humans. When the implants used for jaw surgery don’t function properly, the discomfort they cause gets worse, and the jaw gets damaged more.
- Pharmacological treatment: This treatment method has also received criticism for various reasons. One major drawback of using drugs in treating TMJ syndrome is that strong painkillers used in reducing pain in people with TMJ syndrome may become addictive. The addictive nature of these painkillers becomes a problem with some of these medicines, such as opiate painkillers, as it is tough to cease using them once patients become accustomed to them.
Another drawback of drugs in the treatment of TMJ syndrome is the fact that they are not curative. These drugs can only be used for short periods and are not recommended for use among elderly patients.
Drug interactions are another major concern that has criticized the use of drugs for treating TMD. Some over-the-counter drugs used in treating TMJ syndrome could have potentially toxic interactions with other drugs and lead to severe adverse effects.
Get Ready to Start Your TMJ Treatment in Laguna Niguel, CA
TMJ syndrome causes pain and can severely impact your ability to enjoy the things you love. Fortunately, various treatment options can help relieve the symptoms of TMD. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of TMJ syndrome, book an appointment with TMD dentistry Laguna Niguel and discuss it with a dentist in Laguna Niguel to discover the best treatment option.