Between 5% and 12% of the population in the United States have some form of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues.¹ TMJ disorders can be frustrating and painful conditions affecting your daily life, causing symptoms like jaw pain, headaches, and even difficulties opening your mouth. Fortunately, a range of safe and effective TMJ treatment options are available at Albion Family Dental.
Understanding TMJ Treatment Options
The first step in getting help for TMJ issues is to seek professional help. This will not go away on its own, so getting prompt help can allow you to get on the path to easing the discomfort you are experiencing.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most effective options for treating TMJ with the help of Albion Family Dental:
Non-Invasive TMJ Treatments: Lifestyle Changes, Physical Therapy, and Stress Relief
Non-invasive treatment options make a great first step in treating your TMJ disorder. Certain lifestyle changes can improve symptoms, such as:
- Avoiding chewing ice and gum
- Improving your posture
- Sticking to softer foods
Because stress can worsen TMJ discomfort, adding stress-relieving exercises to your daily routine can help. You can try meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises to help you relax.
You can try TMJ-specific exercises to stretch your jaw and strengthen the muscles around the jaw joint.
Oral Appliances: Mouthguards and Splints
Using a mouthguard or a splint allows your jaw to sit in a better position and can help reduce tooth grinding. Although mouthguards and splints are available over the counter, getting custom-made options will always offer better results.
Medications: Managing Pain and Inflammation
Several over-the-counter and prescription medications are available that ease symptoms of TMJ. You can turn to acetaminophen for pain relief, as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen.
Muscle relaxers can also be a good option if you tend to grind your teeth.
Advanced Treatment Methods for TMJ Disorders
For TMJ disorders that do not respond to less invasive treatments, there are more advanced options you can choose from.
Botox injections are becoming more popular for the treatment of TMJ issues. Botox is made from the botulinum toxin, which temporarily interrupts the signals your brain sends to your muscles, telling them to contract. By relaxing the muscles, Botox injections can help relieve pain. They can also teach the muscles in the area to soften, which is essential for people who tend to grind their teeth.
Radiofrequency ablation is another excellent option for those who cannot get relief from TMJ discomfort. This treatment uses radiofrequency waves to create heat that destroys painful nerves that cause TMJ pain while also encouraging the muscles in the area to relax.
Surgical TMJ Treatment Options
In some cases, the most effective options are surgical ones. Surgical procedures should be the last resort; usually, only the most severe and persistent TMJ cases require them.
Arthrocentesis is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that can help identify why the jaw joint is sore. It can also help remove fluid from the joint using a needle to help relieve some of the discomforts of the condition. In some instances, you can also get medications injected into the joint to ease inflammation and pain.
Arthroscopy is another option. During this surgical procedure, the surgeon makes an incision right in front of your ear and inserts a small tube with a camera. This can help the surgeon see what the problem is while also allowing them to use instruments to make changes to the bone, reposition the disc in your joint, and even remove scar tissue.
The best option for the most advanced cases is joint replacement surgery. During this rare procedure, the knuckle of the joint is removed, and a titanium replacement is installed.
Getting Help for TMJ Disorders in Albion, NY
Living with TMJ disorders can affect your quality of life. If you notice signs like stiffness, jaw pain, or frequent headaches, you want to reach out to a dental professional for prompt treatment to alleviate your TMJ-related symptoms.
Lifestyle changes alone can often alleviate symptoms. If such changes don’t make a difference, you can opt for Botox injections or even radiofrequency ablation. Surgical procedures can be the next step for those who don’t get the relief they need with these options.
If you experience symptoms of TMJ and find that they interfere with your daily life, the compassionate and skilled team at Albion Family Dental can help. Call today to learn more about the options available to you. 585-589-9044