TMJ Pain Treatment
TMJ – formally known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction – presents as pain and reduced movement of the jaw joint and the surrounding muscles. It can strike suddenly and without warning, and may be so severe that it becomes completely impossible to move the jaw.
What is TMJ and How Does it Happen?
People of all ages and backgrounds are potentially vulnerable to TMJ. It happens whenever the two major temporomandibular joints at the side of the head are not working the way they should.
There are many potential risk factors, which can develop over time without being noticed by the patient. Some of these include:
- Stress that causes tightness of affected joints and surrounding muscles;
- Grinding or clenching teeth (bruxism), which may occur while sleeping;
- Dislocation of some portion of the joint’s soft tissue;
- Various forms of arthritis affecting the TM joints;
- Trauma or injury to the neck, the head or the jaw.
Treating TMJ for Long-Lasting Pain Relief
TMJ treatment should begin by accurately diagnosing the source of the problem. This usually requires X-rays as well as direct examination of the jaw and how it functions. Depending on the root cause, there are many treatments that can be helpful:
Using a Night Guard
Many times, the underlying cause of TMJ is consistent grinding of the teeth. This can take place at night without the sufferer realizing it. Not only does it promote TMJ, but it can damage teeth, too. A night guard helps keep the teeth separated and the jaw comfortable at night.
Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
In severe cases of TMJ, it may be impossible to open the mouth. When severe interference with the nerves and muscles takes place, TENS can help. TENS is a handheld device used to direct a gentle electrical current into the affected area. This can cause muscles to release.
Corrective Treatment of the Teeth
Sometimes, a serious dental misalignment or other issue might contribute to TMJ. It’s necessary to coordinate with a dentist to get permanent resolution of this issue. Still, it’s important to get immediate help for pain while waiting for dental treatment.
Trigger Point Injection
Trigger point injection is a form of pain management that helps release “trigger points.” These nodules of muscle tension are like knots that can develop in smooth muscle. They can be directly felt by specialists and targeted with various forms of treatment to release them instantly.
Turtle Creek is the Trusted TMJ Pain Doctor in Dallas
If you suffer from TMJ, it’s important to go to a jaw pain specialist you can rely on. To be effective, pain treatment must be customized to meet your needs. What works well for one person may be ineffective for someone else.
At Turtle Creek Medical Center, we are dedicated to using the latest integrative therapies and medical technology. We develop a personal pain management strategy for each patient and provide world-class care every step of the way.
For help right here in Dallas, TX, contact Turtle Creek Medical Center today.