What is TMJ?
TMJ typically refers to TMJ disorders, or a group of disorders that affect the temporomandibular joint. This joint connects the lower jaw to the skull and allows it to hinge and slide. Without the TMJ, you would be unable to speak, bite, chew, or yawn. Injury in this area can lead to pain, discomfort, and impaired function. In some cases, the exact cause of TMJ cannot be determined, but treatment can help alleviate the problem and restore full function.
Common treatments for TMJ include:
A soft diet and rest can allow the jaw to rest and heal.
• Stretching and massage
This can help relax the muscles that support the joint.
• Heat or cold
Cool compresses can ease pain while warmth can ease tension.
Pain relievers, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories, and other medications may be used to address the symptoms of TMJ.
• Bite guards
You may need to wear a bite guard if you have bruxism.
• Physical therapy
Exercises to strengthen the jaw muscles can reduce the symptoms of TMJ.
Corticosteroid injections or Botox may be used if more conservative therapies are not effective.
This treatment may be appropriate if the joint is affected by debris or inflammation.
Rarely, surgery may be needed to address serious joint abnormalities.
If you have symptoms of TMJ, including pain, numbness, or an inability to fully open or close your jaw, a complete evaluation may be needed to determine the source of the problem. Call us today to find out more or to schedule your consultation with our expert in TMJ in TOaks.