How Can a Dentist Help With TMJ?

How Can a Dentist Help With TMJ?

Mar 29, 2022

Temporomandibular Joint disorder is a common problem worldwide. It affects your temporomandibular joints. If you have had unexplainable facial pain, you could have a TMJ disorder. It can be difficult to understand the cause of TMJ disorder as it can occur for various reasons.

For instance, it can result from a poorly aligned bite, jaw injury, and arthritis. Some sources also suggest that TMJ disorder can result from stress. Regardless of what’s causing the issue, one thing is for sure – you want the pain to stop! Common symptoms associated with the temporomandibular joint disorder include:

  • Headaches or neck aches
  • The clicking of the jaw
  • Tender jaw muscles
  • Pain or popping noises when you close and open your mouth
  • Pain in the jaw when biting and chewing
  • Pain in and around your ear

If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it can negatively affect your everyday life. Fortunately, your dentist can help with that. Even if you’re not exactly sure what’s causing the issue, you should visit the dentist for a closer look.

Like any other condition, delaying treatment could make it harder to correct. When you visit the dentist early, they can create a treatment plan for you to relieve any of the symptoms.

Can a Dentist Help with TMJ?

A dentist can help with TMJ disorder. A dentist may prescribe a TMJ splint or mouth guards and refer you to a specialist for more help.

Diagnosis

Your dentist will start by diagnosing your problem. They will ask you a few questions about your medical history and symptoms. Next, the dentist will use techniques and factors to diagnose TMJ disorder. They may ask you to open and close your mouth to feel and listen to your jaw. They may also observe the range of motion in your jaw. The dentist might also press or touch areas around your jaw to check for pain and discomfort.

If the dentist suspects you have a problem, they can recommend further tests. They can use x-rays to examine your teeth, gums, and jaw. You may also need CT scans to provide a detailed picture of the bones involved in the joint. An MRI can also check for problems with your joint’s disk and surrounding soft tissues. If necessary, the dentist can also recommend TMJ arthroscopic. This test involves inserting a small thin tube and camera into the joint space to view the areas and check for problems.

Treatment of TMJ

In some cases, symptoms of TMJ may go away without any treatment. If symptoms persist, the dentist may recommend various treatment options, including:

  • Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories. Your dentist may prescribe more potent pain relievers and anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen for a limited time.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants. The dentist can also prescribe antidepressants such as amitriptyline for pain relief, sleeplessness, and bruxism control.
  • Muscle relaxants. These drugs help relieve TMJ pain caused by muscle spasms.

Your dentist can also recommend nondrug TMJ treatments, including:

  • Learning relaxation techniques. You can also try relaxation techniques to lessen or eliminate TMJ pain. The techniques specifically target tensed jaw muscles, thereby helping to reduce the tension and relieve jaw pain.
  • Oral splints or mouth guards. Your dentist can also create customized mouth guards to lessen the effects of teeth grinding and clenching.
  • Physical therapy. The therapies might include ultrasound, ice, and moist heat.
  • Counseling. The doctor can help you understand the behaviors and factors that can aggravate your pain to avoid them. These can include biting fingernails, leaning on your chin, and teeth clenching or grinding.

If these methods don’t help, your dentist or doctor can suggest:

  • Arthrocentesis. It’s a less invasive process involving inserting small needles into the joint to irrigate fluid through the joints to remove inflammatory byproducts and debris.
  • Injections. Injecting botulinum toxin type A into the jaw muscles can help relieve TMJ pain.
  • TMJ arthroscopy
  • Modified condylotomy
  • Open-joint surgery

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Are you looking for a dentist for TMJ treatment? Contact Concord Dental Associates for more information.

Our dental office in Concord, NH also welcome patients from the below given nearby areas

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