Can We Cure The TMJ Problem Permanently?
What Is A TMJ Problem?
It is a problem affecting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). It is a connective joint linking the jawbone to the skull. The joints are located on both sides of your face, right in front of the ears. A TMJ problem occurs when the muscles and ligaments around the joints are irritated, displaced, or inflamed. When the joint becomes dysfunctional, it affects many functions of the oral cavity, enough to need an emergency dentist in Tampa for urgent care.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
TMJ conditions are often hard to explain because they can be triggered by many factors. Some of the issues that may increase the risk of TMJ syndrome are:
- Bruxism – is also known as excessive teeth grinding. It is common among children and teenagers, usually at night when sleeping.
- Traumatic dental injuries can cause jaw fractures, TMJ degeneration, or articular disc displacement
- Arthritis in the TMJ
- An improper bite
- Facial clenching
How Does TMJ Disorder Affect Your Life?
Unfortunately, TMJ disorder can be severe enough to affect your overall body health. Some of the ways that TMJ illness will change your life are:
- Pain in your gums and jaw when you chew
- Recurring migraine headaches
- Neck pain that can spread to your shoulders
- Ear pain and clicking sounds when you move your jaw
- Difficulty sleeping well at night due to jaw pain
- Tooth erosion and improper bites
- Decreased appetite, unintentional weight loss, nutritional deficiencies due to difficulties eating well.
- Jaw dislocation – the frequent tension and friction in the TMJ can dislocate your jaw.
- Mental health problems – anxiety and depression are very common among patients with chronic TMJ pain.
- Sleep apnea – is an airway sleep disorder linked to collapsed airways when you sleep at night.
- Permanent jaw damage – due to loss of jaw cartilage and bone mass over time.
What Are the Treatment Options for TMJ Disorder?
TMJ treatments in Tampa, FL, often differ depending on the underlying cause of the problem. Some treatment measures are more invasive than others.
- Medicine – your dentist in 33635 will prescribe high doses of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen, among other drugs. The medication can help manage your pain levels.
- Corrective dental treatments for your jaw – typically, the treatments are in orthodontic dentistry to correct your bite. You may need to begin your braces treatment with Dr. Birch in Westbay Dental – Tampa as a treatment option for TMJ syndrome.
- Night guards for bruxism – provide a protective barrier on teeth that will counter the pressure of teeth grinding against each other.
- Botulinum Toxin (Botox®) – a dentist near you can administer Botox to reduce inflammation in your jaw area and minimize muscle mass.
- TMJ surgery – in any dental office near you, surgery for treating TMJ illnesses is always the last resort. Dentists will try to exploit all other treatment remedies, including making several lifestyle adjustments, before considering surgery. The three types of TMJ surgery you can undergo are arthrocentesis, arthroscopy, and open-joint surgery.
Some other things a TMJ dentist in Tampa, FL, will advise you to do to manage your TMJ problem are:
- Changing sleeping posture
- Wear a mouthguard when engaging in intense physical activities that can hurt your jaw.
- Rest and relax to overcome stress and anxiety, hence reducing facial clenching.
- Apply moist heat or cold packs on the aching side of the jaw. It will help alleviate the swelling and reduce your pain levels.
- Avoid extreme jaw movements by limiting yawning and constant chewing.
- Eat soft foods to alleviate the strain of breaking down hard food particles.
Can TMJ Illnesses Be Treated Permanently?
Permanent healing is always the goal of any treatment protocol in dentistry. However, the success of any treatment depends on different factors, including the underlying cause of the problem. Some causes of TMJ syndrome make it impossible to heal permanently after treatment. However, if you couple your treatment with the various lifestyle changes, you may have a great shot at curing your TMJ illness permanently.