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Do Dentists Treat TMJ?


October 21st, 2022

It is more common than you’d think for a person to feel pain in the jaw area. We all use our jaws to nourish our bodies by consuming food. We use our jaws when we speak. But why is there sometimes pain in the jaw?

Often referred to as TMJ, pain in the jaw can range from minor symptoms that go away in a short period of time, to more prominent pains that can require treatment. When treatment is needed, it is important to seek professional aid. However, it can be difficult trying to figure out where to go for help. Should one visit a doctor or a dentist? Maybe a type of surgeon? Here’s a quick guide on TMJ, its symptoms, and where to get treatment from.

What Is TMJ?

TMJ is an abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint. This joint acts as a link that connects the jawbone to the skull. The temporomandibular joints are regularly in use, making it possible for people to eat and speak with ease. Because these joints are regularly in use, it is possible for TMJ disorders to occur. Temporomandibular disorders, also referred to as TMD, commonly cause pain in the temporomandibular joint as well as the surrounding muscles that help conduct the movement of the jaw.

What Are The Symptoms For TMD?

Common symptoms for temporomandibular disorders include both physical and psychological distress. Physical symptoms could consist of pain in the jaw, difficulty in jaw movement, facial pain, ear aches, or migraines. When it comes to psychological symptoms, one could experience insomnia, anxiety or even depression. Keep in mind that these same symptoms could be the result of different health issues. That’s why it’s important to seek the help of a medical professional that can properly diagnose what is causing the symptoms.

What Causes TMD?

There are a number of different things that could result in a temporomandibular disorder. In some cases, it could be because of teeth grinding or arthritis. In other cases it could be genetics or a jaw injury. According to CD Dental Care in North York, other causes of TMJ include inflammation, the straining of tendons and ligaments, and even disk problems.

Can Dentists Treat TMJ?

Oftentimes the symptoms of TMJ disorders can dissipate without the need for surgical treatment. However, if symptoms continue then it is important to seek a medical professional for a consultation. Dentists are capable of providing various treatments to help relieve the pain of TMJ. Because temporomandibular disorders center around the jawbone, there are different types of cosmetic dentistry that can help treat TMD. CD Dental Care, for example, has a team of dental professionals that are capable of treating symptoms for TMJ. Dentists provide great resources to help people get rid of the pain that temporomandibular disorders cause.

What Can Treat TMJ?

There are many different ways to treat TMJ. Some treatments include taking medications, such as muscle relaxants that help with muscle spasms caused by temporomandibular disorders. Other medications include anti-inflammatories or painkillers. 

For those who seek treatments that don’t involve taking medications, there are non drug therapies available. One of these treatments would be to wear a mouth guard or oral brace. Physical therapy could also aid in relieving jaw pain and strengthening one’s jaw muscles. Another form of treatment would be to educate oneself on the factors and behaviors that could lead to TMJ and how to avoid those behaviors. Teeth grinding is an example of a behavior that one should avoid in order to prevent the possibility of getting TMD.

Apart from medications and other therapies, there are surgical treatments and other procedures that can help relieve TMJ symptoms. These treatments include, but are not limited to, injections into the joint or surrounding muscles or minimal invasive procedures like arthrocentesis. Arthrocentesis procedures involve the insertion of tiny needles into the temporomandibular joint that irrigates fluid throughout the joint to help remove inflammatory outgrowth. For those suffering from TMJ symptoms, know that there are many different options to help relieve the pain. If the pain doesn’t fade away, consult your dentist to go over which options are best suited. Medications, therapies, and other options are readily available for anyone seeking relief from temporomandibular disorders.

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