A sore, aching jaw makes even smiling and chewing feel like a chore, but you don’t have to suffer through jaw pain. At Proud To Serve Family Dentistry in Norman, Oklahoma, Audrey May-Jones, DDS, can create a TMJ therapy plan that alleviates jaw pain as well as headaches, neck pain, and more. To learn more about your TMJ treatment options, call Proud To Serve Family Dentistry or book an appointment online today.
Temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ disorder, is a chronic condition in which the temporomandibular joint in your jaw, which acts as a hinge for your jawbone and skull, becomes irritated. This often leads to a number of debilitating problems, such as:
While over-the-counter (OTC) remedies like acetaminophen can help relieve jaw pain temporarily, they’re not a permanent solution for TMJ.
Approximately 10 million people around the world suffer from TMJ, and women are four times more likely than men to develop this painful condition. While the exact cause of TMJ is unknown, certain risk factors for the disorder include:
If you think you may be suffering from TMJ, it’s important to seek medical help right away, as your symptoms are likely to worsen with age and cause you more oral health problems down the road.
The first step in treating your TMJ is determining what’s causing your chronic pain. For example, if you suffer a jaw injury, your treatment plan is more likely to involve surgery than someone whose TMJ developed from chronic teeth grinding. Dr. Audrey will take X-rays and digital impressions of your mouth in addition to examining your medical history before moving forward with your individualized TMJ treatment plan. Some of the most popular treatments for TMJ include:
Dr. Audrey will use your X-rays and digital impressions to create a custom-fit night guard that you can wear at night. This perfectly fitting, comfortable night guard will help alleviate your pain while protecting your teeth and jaw against further damage.
Certain medications, such as anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, and tricyclic antidepressants, relax your jaw and reduce joint inflammation to alleviate jaw pain as well as headaches, neck pain, and even shoulder pain.
Jaw surgery is typically a last resort option for patients whose pain has not diminished through less invasive treatments. While there are a number of surgical options to choose from, a jaw surgeon will determine the right type of surgery for your individual case.
Relaxation techniques, jaw joint massages, and heat therapy are all at-home pain remedies that can relax your jaw and alleviate pain. It’s also important to reduce stress in your life as much as possible to prevent chronic jaw clenching and teeth grinding.
For more information on your TMJ therapy treatment options, call Proud To Serve Family Dentistry or book an appointment online today.