Are you experiencing pain and clicking in your jaw and neck? Maybe you’ve been dealing with frustrating headaches. Many patients are unsure where these uncomfortable symptoms can come from. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, it may be due to temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ.
This joint is responsible for the opening and closing movement of the mouth and could be causing uncomfortable symptoms if there are issues with its functionality. It is one of the most frequently used joints in the body and should provide smooth jaw movements without issues.
Temporomandibular joint issues, when left untreated, can progress and become chronic.Thankfully, a range of treatments can help minimize symptoms and improve your TMJ disorder.
TMJ Treatments in SW Calgary
There are a variety of ways patients can alleviate the severity of their TMJ symptoms. Some treatments can be carried out on their own, and some may require the help of their SW Calgary dentist. Some of the ways these symptoms can be addressed include:
1) Lifestyle changes
Many patients will experience TMJ symptoms at least once in their lives. The condition may come and go with time and is oftenresolved without treatment. However, if the symptoms are not disappearing, you can explore some at-home treatments. Try the following:
● Over-the-counter medication to alleviate the discomfort.
● Jaw exercises that your dentist can recommend.
● Eat soft foods.
● Avoid yawning, chewing gum, or activities that require you to repeatedly open your mouth.
● Use heat pads and a cold compress.
● Jaw massages
One of the most common causes of TMJ is stress. Making slight modifications to your lifestyle and practicing mindfulness to reduce stress can help diminish symptoms caused by the disorder. If the home remedies do not help, visit a dentist near you for a specified treatment.
2) Bite alignment
Cases of TMJ may be due to teeth grinding, misaligned bites, and clenching. Visit the dentist if home remedies are not successful so they can examine your case of TMJ and suggest additional treatment if necessary.
Dentists in SW Calgary can offer bite guards to moderate symptoms and improve tooth grinding which can affect your joint. Depending on the mouthguard, it will help stabilize the jaw and provide a cushion for any pain associated with the joint and caused by grinding. Some mouthguards may be purchased online or over the counter, but they will not be as beneficial as those regulated by a dentist.
3) Muscle injections
Corticosteroid injections may be used to reduce inflammation and pain in the joint. It willhelp with chronic pain and reduce symptoms temporarily. Botox injection may also help relax the muscles in the jaw to prevent clenching and help with TMJ symptoms. These injections are minimally invasive and ideal for patients looking for a simple temporary fix to their discomfort.
If injections are unsuccessful, dentists may use arthroscopy and arthrocentesis to try and determine the cause of the joint disturbance. Doing this may help them determine the best course of treatment by understanding exactly what is affecting the joint.
If all previous treatments are not successful in improving symptoms, surgery is recommended as a last resort. Parts of the joint can be repositioned and repaired through surgery and, in some cases, removed and replaced. However, the procedure involves higher risks such as loss of movement, scarring and the rejection of the artificial new joints.
If you have been experiencing ongoing TMJ symptoms and have not yet found a solution for you, contact us! Apple Dental Group offers outstanding services and TMJ treatment near you to help your unique situation.