TMJ/TMD Treatment Fort Collins, CO.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a common condition affecting the jaw joint and the muscles controlling jaw movement. This disorder can result in discomfort, pain, and difficulty in chewing. At Ray Dental, we aim to educate our patients about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options of TMJ disorders, helping them achieve a better quality of life.
Causes of Dental TMJ
The TMJ connects your lower jaw (mandible) to your skull in front of your ear. A TMJ disorder (TMD) can occur due to various factors, such as:
- Arthritis: Inflammation and degeneration of the TMJ can lead to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Bruxism: Regularly clenching or grinding your teeth (bruxism) can exert excess pressure on the TMJ.
- Trauma: Any damage to the jawbone or TMJ can result in a TMJ disorder.
- Malalignment of Teeth: Misalignment of the upper and lower teeth (malocclusion) can also contribute to TMD.
Symptoms of Dental TMJ
TMJ disorder presents with symptoms such as:
- Pain or tenderness in the jaw joint
- Difficulty or discomfort while chewing
- A clicking or popping sound when opening or closing the mouth
- Facial pain, headaches, or earaches
- Locking of the jaw, making it difficult to open or close the mouth
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is recommended to see a dentist for diagnosis and treatment.
Non-Surgical Treatments for Dental TMJ
Non-surgical treatments are the first line of action for relieving TMJ pain. These may include:
- Pain Relievers: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, can provide temporary relief from jaw pain and inflammation.
- Muscle Relaxants: Pain relief medication, such as naproxen, can help relieve tension in the jaw muscles.
- Night Guards or Splints: Custom-made dental appliances, such as a night guard, can prevent bruxism and realign the TMJ.
- Physical Therapy: This includes jaw exercises, heat and cold therapy, and ultrasound treatment.
- Relaxation Techniques: Stress management through relaxation techniques or biofeedback can help reduce jaw clenching.
We may also recommend that you stick to soft foods as part of your TMJ treatment. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction can lead to chronic pain, but with a comprehensive treatment option, we can address TMD pain quickly and effectively.
Surgical Treatments for Dental TMJ
When non-surgical treatments do not provide adequate relief, surgical options might be considered:
- Arthrocentesis: This is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the insertion of needles into the joint to irrigate it and remove inflammatory byproducts.
- Injections: Corticosteroids or Botox can be injected into the jaw muscles to relieve pain.
- TMJ Arthroscopy: In some cases, arthroscopic surgery may be necessary. The surgeon inserts a small thin tube (cannula) into the joint space, and a small camera (arthroscope) is then inserted to view the area and to perform the surgery.
- Open-Joint Surgery: If the joint’s structure is severely damaged, surgery might be required to repair or replace the joint.
The choice of treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms and the cause of the disorder. Your dentist will discuss the potential risks and benefits with you.
Contact Ray Dental To Book an Appointment
If you’re experiencing TMJ symptoms such as jaw pain, discomfort, or difficulty chewing, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We understand that temporomandibular disorder can lead to a severe toothache, but we have a variety of options that could provide pain relief. At Ray Dental, our expert dentists will provide a thorough examination, which may include x-rays, a CT scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to diagnose your condition and recommend the best treatment plan. Email or call us today to book your consultation and start your journey toward relief.