Temporomandibular disorder is characterized by pain and tenderness in jaw joints and the surrounding ligaments and muscles. This disorder can also make it challenging to chew, as there will be intense pain during jaw movement. Therefore, seeking treatment at the TMJ specialist near you is essential in controlling the symptoms of this disorder.

Questions are raised on how to prevent getting this disorder and what treatments are for it. You’re in the right place if you want to know the answers to the above questions. So, let’s dive in.

What Is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction?

TMJ dysfunction is a condition that causes your muscles and joints controlling jaw movement to be damaged or inflamed. The disorder can cause headaches, jaw locking, and jaw pain, among other issues.

There are various types of TMJ disorders. They include:

  • Headaches caused by TMD.
  • Disorders of your chewing muscles.
  • Disorders of the jaw joints.

Some of the symptoms of TMD include:

  • Migraines.
  • Headaches.
  • Jaw and facial pain.
  • Difficulty opening and closing the mouth.
  • Jaw clicking or popping.
  • Earaches.
  • Ringing in your ears.
  • Malocclusion.
  • Neck or shoulder pain.
  • Jaw stiffness.
  • Toothache.

What Are the Causes of TMJ Disorder?

When you visit the dentist in Tuscaloosa, AL, they will explain that TMD has no singular cause. However, the disorder can be a result of different factors. They include:

  • Arthritis in your jaw joint.
  • Teeth are clenching or grinding.
  • Stress.
  • Injury in your jaw causing dislocation or damage.
  • Malocclusion.

What Are the Treatments for TMJ Disorder?

After visiting the dentist’s office near you, they will examine the disorder and recommend the most suitable treatment. There are two methods of treating TMJ: nonsurgical, while the other entails surgery.

Nonsurgical Treatment

Some of the nonsurgical treatments for TMJ include:

Physical therapy– these exercises ensure your jaw opens and closes normally and strengthen the jaw muscles.

Mouthguards- oral devices like mouthguards or oral splints can ensure your jaw is comfortable or reduce the effects of bruxism. It is advisable to opt for a custom-fitted mouthguard as it will fit perfectly in your mouth, providing comfort to your teeth and jaw.

Ultrasound treatment- sound waves apply heat deep into your tissues. This treatment increases the flow of blood and enhances jaw muscle relaxation.

Trigger point injections- this treatment entails the injection of botulinum toxin or corticosteroids into the aching muscles knots in your jaw.

Surgical Treatments

Surgery is recommended if the nonsurgical treatments don’t work or the disorder is severe. They include:

TMJ arthroscopy– an oral surgeon performs this procedure by an incision in the front of your ear. He then inserts a thin tube containing a camera and visual light. The tubes provide a pathway for inserting surgical equipment to remove scar tissue, reposition the jaw joint disk, or reshape the jawbone.

Arthrocentesis– this procedure helps the dentist to know the cause of jaw pain. Also, a needle is used to remove joint fluid and ease the effects of TMJ disorder.

Open joint surgery involves creating a large incision so the surgeon can repair, replace, remove, or reposition the parts of the jaw joint.

How To Prevent TMJ Disorder?

Now that you know what temporomandibular dysfunction is, its causes, and treatments, there are ways to prevent getting it. Here are the tips for preventing TMJ disorders:

  • Avoid chewy or hard foods- hard and chewy foods like popcorn kernels, ice, and chewing gum can exert excess pressure on your jaw joints and muscles. Therefore, you can reduce the consumption of such foods to prevent the disorder.
  • Practice proper oral hygiene- having a good oral regimen helps prevent many oral problems, including TMJ disorders. This entails brushing twice, flossing once daily, and visiting the dentist’s office near you for regular checkups.
  • Utilize a mouthguard- if you have bruxism, wearing a mouthguard when sleeping protects your teeth and prevents straining the jaw joints and muscles.
  • Treat crooked or misaligned teeth.
  • Manage stress- stress can create tension in your jaw, leading to TMJ disorder.

TMJ disorder can make your life less enjoyable. So, if you experience any symptoms that may indicate the disorder, visit Dental Care South. We have experienced dental professionals that will examine your symptoms and determine the most appropriate treatment for the disorder.

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