Ideal Treatment Options To Relieve Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Temporomandibular joint disorder is a medical condition that affects almost 10 million people in the United States alone. It is a condition wherein the temporomandibular joint that bridges the upper jaw to the lower jaw is dislocated or is under great stress. A person suffering from this problem may feel pain in the jaws, ears, face, neck and shoulders, and may also experience headaches, toothaches, blurry vision and stuffy sinus. Due to the many symptoms associated with this disorder, choosing the right TMJ treatment options can be challenging both for the patient and the attending physician or dentist.
Nowadays, there are myriads of TMJ treatment options that can be applied in order to address temporomandibular joint disorder. This may include the prescription of anti-inflammatory medications, application of bite therapy, exercises and even surgical procedures to correct the syndrome. However, more often than not, the therapies available for this syndrome are applied in order to relieve the pain caused by the said disorder.
Before referring to more invasive solutions to cure temporomandibular joint disorder, most physicians or dentists will recommend their patients to try first the non-invasive TMJ treatment options that they can do at home. A physician will most likely provide a list of home remedies to the patient such as the application of heat compression to the affected area, jaw exercises, relaxation techniques and stress management exercises. In some instances, the patient may also be prescribed to undergo a diet rich in soft foods so as not to put more stress to the jaws, acupressure, acupuncture, or massage therapy.
If the symptoms of the disorder are still present even after the application of the aforesaid home remedies, the patient may have to take medications. A physician may require patients to consume acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in order to help relieve the pain induced by the syndrome. Meanwhile, muscle relaxants may also be prescribed so as to reduce muscle spasms and teeth grinding as well tricyclic antidepressants to properly manage the pain. If the symptoms of the condition are truly severe, a physician may recommend an injection of corticosteroids to prevent inflammation, but only one injection is often recommended.
Dental interventions are also available to relieve the said joint disorder. Dental occlusal splinting is the most common dental remedy for temporomandibular joint disorder, which can be in the form of occluding splints or non-occluding splints. Occluding splints are made in accordance to the dimensions of the patient's mouth and are applied to realign both upper and lower teeth. Meanwhile, non-occluding splint or more commonly referred to as mouth guards can be directly bought at pharmacies and are specifically designed to prevent teeth clenching and grinding, which are among the causes of temporomandibular joint disorder.
If all the non-invasive therapies do not work, doctors and dentists may suggest their patients to have a surgery. Arthoplasty is the collective term used for all kinds of open surgery for temporomandibular joint disorder. The surgical procedure for the aforesaid joint problem may be in the form of disk repositioning, discectomy, or joint replacement, and may be minimally invasive or complex. Even though surgery for this joint problem can totally reduce the pain, the patient may experience swelling, infection, bleeding and pain after the procedure.
If you are suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder, there are various TMJ treatment options that you can try. If your condition is not extreme, it will be wise to settle for home remedies that may include exercises, heat therapy, and a diet plan filled with soft foods. You can also opt for dental interventions that may include dental occlusal or non-occlusal splints. But, if your condition is extreme, your physician or dentist may also suggest that you undergo a surgery to totally address the problem.
Published January 26th, 2011
Filed in Health