Reduce Pain with TMJ Treatment

You should not have to live with TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) pain on a regular basis. Many people think you must live with the pain. Treatment may seem unaffordable or hard to find. Not all dentists have experience with the many TMJ treatments. Your dentist, however, can help maintain your dental health and refer you to a specialist for your TMJ treatment. If your dentist is prepared for TMJ complications, you can begin treatment quickly. The main goal of TMJ treatment is to reduce pain that can interfere with daily life. There are many more solutions than simply taking pain medicine. Find the right doctor to get things under control. 

Getting Started with TMJ Treatment

Most dentists can diagnose TMJ with the help of an x-ray. They see many cases and begin to recognize the complaints from patients. Mention the discomfort at your next routine exam so your dentist can give you a proper diagnosis. The dentist comes up with a TMJ  treatment plan after a more thorough exam. A doctor is southwest Houston can help with your diagnosis. 

Your dentist can tell if the temporomandibular joint does not work properly. There is a disk that absorbs shock. If it moves out of place, TMJ is your diagnosis. Your dentist may begin treatment with non-invasive solutions. Anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxing medication can control pain and swelling while discussing other treatment.  The dentist may request more detailed imaging, such as an MRI or CT scan. These show more detailed images of the tissue and bones. 

Signs and Symptoms of TMJ

It can be frustrating to have pain and not know what is causing it. Your TMJ dentist can help you find answers. Clearly state the location and severity of your pain. A TMJ specialist can easily pinpoint if you are having TMJ symptoms. 

  • Pain in the jaw
  • Ongoing soreness of the jaw
  • Pain near your ear
  • Locking jaw, or problems opening and closing your mouth
  • Headaches
  • Pain while chewing

Recognizing TMJ Migraine Symptoms 

Some people have migraines with no apparent cause. These can be debilitating, interfering with work and school. TMJ migraines may be frequent, making it even more necessary to find a manageable treatment. The misaligned jaw can cause problems with the nerve center that causes headaches. TMJ migraine symptoms may happen along with jaw and face pain. 

Clenching your teeth or grinding them can initiate the migraine. Your dentist can tell if you are grinding your teeth during an exam. Grinding the teeth while you are sleeping causes worn or uneven surfaces. A TMJ dentist near me can make a custom mouth guard to help you stop this habit. A dentist at Westorem Dental can help you with teeth grinding problems.

Find a TMJ Dentist Near Me

It is best to get a referral form a healthcare professional for TMJ treatment. If you are having trouble finding a TMJ doctor, check online or with your insurance provider. You can also call a few dentists in the area to find out if they have a TMJ specialist on staff. 

Why You Need a TMJ Dentist Specialist

It is important to have a dentist that can diagnose you properly and knows how to treat TMJ. Only a  temporomandibular joint disorder specialist should recommend surgical treatments. A dentist specializing in TMJ can take care of you for many years. They can work with you through your early diagnosis and continue to manage your symptoms as they change. 

What’s Different About a Dentist Specializing in TMJ

A dentist specializing in TMJ may spend every day looking at similar problems. Each patient has specific problems, giving the doctor a wide range of cases to study. Medical experience combined with feedback from TMJ patients helps these specialists learn more about successful treatment methods. 

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Specialist

A dentist may start out studying TMJ as a specialty, or decide they have an interest later. They may also learn from working with many TMJ diagnosed patients over the years. Check the credentials of your TMJ doctor before you make a commitment. 

Considering the Options: TMJ Jaw Surgery Cost

TMJ surgery is usually the last option when pain is  no longer manageable with other tactics. You can expect to spend anywhere from $5,000 to $70,000. The lower end of the spectrum includes arthroscopy while the higher end includes a complete replacement of the joint. 

TMJ Open Joint Surgery and other Surgery Options

 

Once your TMJ surgeon may not make a definitive decision about the course of action until you are having an arthroscopy. Each case is different, and the surgeon needs to look inside to assess the extent of the damage. The surgeon can repair or repositioned if the damage is minimal. If the surgeon feels the disc shows a lot of wear or appears torn up, the TMJ surgeon can also remove it. There is an option to replace the disk with an artificial one to restore proper function. 

Open joint surgery is a last resort option and comes with the most risks. The surgeon considers repair, removal, or repositioning on during open joint surgery, as well. Arthroscopic surgery is simply less invasive. The dentist must make a full incision for open joint surgery. He may choose this route if there are bony growths or if there is a fused joint. 

Find TMJ Surgeons Near Me

Get a referral for a TMJ specialist before you decide on surgery. A second opinion can make you feel more confident about the decision, especially if different doctors agree. Speak with your insurance company to find out about specialists in your area. Treatment can get expensive, so you need someone that takes your insurance plan.

FAQ’s 

How to treat TMJ? 

Your may need pain or anti-inflammatory medicine part of the time. Cold compresses can also relieve pain. Your doctor may also recommend a mouth guard for the teeth or a splint to immobilize the jaw. Arthrocentesis or injections are also options. Surgery is the last option, if other tactics do not relieve pain. 

How do dentists find out if you have TMJ?

Your dentist listens to your symptoms, examines your teeth, and looks at imaging. If the dentist cannot see enough on the x-ray, he may order an MRI.

What are some common symptoms of TMJ?

Some of the symptoms include pain in the jaw, a locking jaw, or pain while eating. You may also suffer from migraine headaches. 

What Causes TMJ?

You can have an injury that triggers the TMJ. Severe teeth clenching or grinding can also cause TMJ. Dental issues such as misaligned teeth or jaw can also be an issue.

How can a TMJ dentist help me?

There are many levels of treatment for TMJ. A specialist can help you decide what is right for you, even if it changes over time. TMJ symptoms be mild for some people and debilitating for others. There are treatment options for all levels of pain. Surgery is the most invasive solution, yet it gives hope to many people with severe TMJ. Call Westorem Dental to set up your diagnostic appointment today.

Summary:

Your TMJ dentist may have several options for TMJ treatment. Your dentist may start you on anti-inflammatory medications or pain relief medications. You can do some simple cold therapy at home, as well. Surgery is the last resort for individuals that need help with severe symptoms. Arthroscopic surgery is less invasive than open joint surgery. Your surgeon either repairs, repositions, or removes the disk between the joints. You may need a replacement disk if yours is torn or worn out. The surgeon must make a larger incision for open joint surgery. You may have bony growths that make it hard to reach the joint. Your dentist can give you a diagnosis for TMJ and refer you to a specialist, if necessary. Many dentists, however, have extensive TMJ experience. Your diagnosis starts with a regular dental exam with x-rays. Your dentist may order an MRI or CT scan to get a better look at the bones and joints. You may have to try a few different things to find what works for your situation. Your specialist may change your treatment plan over the years, as well. 


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