The temporomandibular joint is the connection between the mandible and the temporal bone of the skull. It’s located in the interior of the ears and lateral side of the face. TMJ sometimes gets inflammation and can cause TMJ disease, ear pain, and difficulty in the movement of the skull. Like other joints, the TMJ joints also have nerve supply and have conscious control. The temporomandibular joint syndrome is a severe disorder that causes pain in jaw muscles and causes nervous distortion. It results in pain and inflammation of the TMJ joint. This syndrome leads to pain during chewing, clicking, crackling and results in the swelling of facial muscles.
Is TMJ a Medical or Dental Issue?
TMJ pain is a non-dental or medical issue that affects women more than men, especially during childbearing age. TMJ disease is a genuine medical issue that is frequently mismanaged and leads to fatal conditions. Oral surgeon TMJ specialist is the best choice to treat the problem.
What are the Risk Factors Associated with TMJ Syndrome?
Various risk factors indulge with this serious medical condition. But I will point out a few crucial factors that may be associated with the temporomandibular joint disorder.
- Arthritis, which is related to joints, also increases the risk of TMJ pain. Esp. Osteoarthritis etc.
- Any jaw injury may be fatal in TMJ disease.
- Clenching of teeth in chronic cases.
- Specific connective tissue diseases that may also get affected TMJ physical therapy during the treatment are susceptible.
- Inadequate blood supply and weakness in the jaw muscles may be a significant risk.
- Patients already suffering from Trauma may also get affected hugely.
Major Causes of TMJ Joint Problem
TMJ doctors or dentists have identified various causes for the severe issue. But I will mention primary and essential reasons that may lead to patients’ chronic and unbearable conditions. As we know, the TMJ joint is involved in hinge action for every angle motion. So, any cause that damages this area may be the leading cause. The joints are also connected with the disks of the bones where they attach with another bone-forming any joint. It causes orthopedic issues like:
- Sore Muscles
- Tensity of Tendons and ligaments
- Disk Problems
Symptoms and Signs of TMJ
It may come from both joints of the jaw, but technically it may be the pain in the TMJ joint. Toughness in the muscle when you wake up in the morning is the most common sign—the habit of clenching the teeth at night maybe not suitable for your TMJ treatment. The most common muscle affected by this condition is the masseter muscle of the cheek.
Pain in Joints
Most commonly, TMJ doctors call this condition Arthritis of the TMJ joint. When the TMJ x rays are observed in some patients, it has been seen that it looked like Arthritis but not really. But their radiographs showed no symptoms of Arthritis.
On the mouth opening every time, some patients feel the cracking, tapping, or clicking sound from the TMJ joint location. It’s not a common symptom, but one-third majority of people have observed this condition.
Is it Possible to Prevent TMJ?
Yes, you can prevent TMJ condition in various ways, medically as well as self-management. A few things should keep in mind to alleviate joint pain.(Prevention)
It involves exercise, yoga, and regular appointments with TMJ therapists to muscle therapy to release stress. If you grind the teeth whenever you get angry, TMJ is a condition that may develop.
Quit Some Habits
Some people and even athletes have the habit of chewing gum. It can stress and overuse the jaw muscles. If you’re one of them, immediately leave the practice to prevent TMJ disease development.
TMJ Massage Therapy
If you have that serious issue, please hire a therapist and do regular TMJ massage therapy to treat TMJ disorder treatment.
Medical Health Specialists
Except for these ways to prevent the syndrome, find out a medical health professional to consult the issue. They will guide you depending on the condition and on your daily habits.
How do TMJ specialists Diagnose TMJ Syndrome?
Best TMJ specialist services have some regulations and training to diagnose any medical condition. A doctor or Specialist will examine your jaw movements and ask you a few things.
- He/she feel and observe the jaw during the opening and closing of the mouth.
- Observe the angle and quality of jaw motion.
- He/she may check the sites of pain or swelling on jaw muscles,
- If the doctor finds the symptoms and observations of the TMJ disease, he/she may ask for X-Rays to determine the teeth and jaw area.
- Ct scan of the joint bones
- Popular TMJ treatments
- Most of the cases are left without any treatment due to vanishing TMJH disease symptoms.
Medical Treatment of TMJ Syndrome
Although surgical prevention also exists, you may get these clinical medicines to treat the disease.
Anti Inflammatory Drugs
As I mentioned in the article, TMJ causes inflammation of the jaw muscles. Well, by the use of ibuprofen. Or other medications may be helpful. TMJ doctors or dentists may prescribe pain relief medicines for a short duration of time.
Soreness of the muscles can be relieved by muscle relaxants for a few weeks and even months.
Usage of any Antidepressant
Stress is the primary reason for the TMJ issue. Use prescribed antidepressants to feel comfortable and free from any stress.
Therapies recommended for TMJ Disease
It’s still unclear how therapies or exercises relieve you from pain.
It includes the Therapy using ice, heat, and other ways except for exercise and muscle relief.
Consult the severity of the disease with the TMJ specialist. He/she will help you and describe the therapies necessary for you to combat the issue.
Surgical or other Procedures( types of TMJ surgery)
Some patients make use of corticosteroid that is helpful for them. But botulinum toxin type A injections may relieve the jaw muscle pain due to TMJ disease, and it is called acupuncture for TMJ.
It involves considering the TMJ joint indirectly on the mandible. If you’re feeling like locking the jaw, it might be a helpful treatment strategy to relieve pain from TMJ.
Arthrocentesis involves inserting tiny needles inside the joint to remove the debris and other waste products from the joint fluid.
In some cases, depending on the severity of the disease, TMJ arthroscopy is done as open joint surgery. A cannula is inserted into the joint space, and then an arthroscope is lodged to treat the joints using small instruments. Arthroscopy is a safe treatment, but it has some limits.
TMJ Home Remedies
Beware of the tension and the stress-related issue is vital for the beautiful journey throughout this treatment. The home remedies may be helpful, but your priority must be an appointment with the TMJ specialist doctor. You may do:
Less and regular usage of Jaw Muscles: Try to minimize the use of the jaw. Consume soft foods and avoid fast and spicy food. The most important habit, please avoid chew gum.
Massage and stretching of the muscle may decrease the severity of the TMJ pain due to an increase in blood supply.
Cold or Heat Therapy At Home: Apply bearable cold or heat waves to relax the face and jaw muscles. It will make the muscles more resistant.
Stress Management: TMJ pain is challenging to feel, so stress management at home becomes so essential. Do regular yoga, pose, and exercise to avoid TMJ pain.
Food Choice: Prefer soft and less spicy foods to get less pain from joint dysfunction. If you want to eat hard foods like carrot, please cut them into smaller pieces before consuming.
Stabilization splint: Wear a bite guard to prevent drenching or clicking of the teeth. They are made up of plastic and can’t cause any damage.
Pros and Cons of TMJ Dysfunction Syndrome
Pros: The TMJ surgery moves your jaw and teeth to a more appropriate place and balances the maximum functionality. It increases the ability to chew, speaking and breathing. Remedial Therapy treats headaches, jaw joint pain, a receding chin, congenital disabilities, sleep apnea, and facial damages. As you know, the whole Therapy is mainly for increasing the appearance of your personality. So, it can increase the attractiveness of your face and body language after successful treatment.
Cons: The cost of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) treatment is a very large burden both on time and money. The wearing of braces before the oral surgery is awful for eating food and breathing.
How to Cure TMJ Permanently?
There are many methods to cure TMJ pain permanently like:
Not recommended by the doctors but maybe the ultimate treatment to cure the TMJ. The surgery is called arthroscopy. It involves removing any abnormality in the joint and teeth of the patient.
Manually Made Splints
They are made to apply to both upper or lower teeth. These splints work as a cushion to prevent the drenching and clicking of the teeth.
TMJ therapists do special massage and Therapy as a permanent treatment of TMJ. It occurs with the exercise of the joint. You may get permanently free from the disease depending upon the severity of the issue.
Expectations After TMJ Surgery
The Specialist says that the significant improvement from the TMJ pain is outstanding. The success rate of the surgery is 83% in most of the researches. But it depends on the care management after the treatment and posts instructions implementations.
Post Instructions Of TMJ Surgery
Avoid hard and heavy foods to keep the teeth free from any mismanagement. Take soft and typical food as soon as you feel comfortable. Do the regular joint exercise as recommended by the doctor. Stab-like incisions between the teeth are essential to take care of until complete recovery. Wounds care management is the key to fast recovery. Oral surgery is always a source of discomfort. Right after the shots of acute pain are commonly seen in most patients, take some pain killers like acetaminophen for few weeks.
Who is a TMJ Specialist?
The oral and maxillofacial Specialist, or commonly doctor or ENT Specialist or called a TMJ specialist, is called a specialist in jaw diseases. You can also refer to him as a prosthetic dentist as well for long-term treatment.
When is the right time to see a TMJ specialist?
When you feel the signs of pain, sore muscles, hindrance in the movement of the jaw and facial bones., It’s the right time to see a TMJ specialist.
Prepare Yourself for a TMJ Appointment
Just think about the first appointment with the Specialist. Note the signs and symptoms of TMJ joints and all the major causes of the disease. The doctor usually asks some common questions like a food diet, nutrition, habits, and jaws. You must be clear before going to a TMJ specialist. If you are doing minor medication, take them together while visiting a doctor.
What common questions does a TMJ specialist ask?
- The TMJ specialist may ask many questions.
- From how long you’re feeling the pain in the jaw or joint?
- What is your diet plan for the past few months?
- Which type of medication have you done before the appointment?
- Are you doing home remedies?
- May he ask the medicines you use for pain relief?
How to Find The Best TMJ Specialist?
Internet: Use the internet and search for the best websites to find the best TMJ specialist.
Reviews or Opinions: Generally, people feedback about different doctors and their level of standards. Check online reviews and find the Specialist.
Family and Friends Counselling: Ask your friend or family who had a similar issue in the past. You may ask them about the doctor they have visited.
Cost of TMJ Treatment
The treatment is very costly, but you may find the doctors according to the budget. On average, the Specialist charges $50-$300 per session.
If you need physical therapy, it may lead up to $2000+ for the entire treatment. But you have several options and adopt the way of Therapy according to money management. Open joint surgery is very much costly.
Some of the Celebrities with TMJ
Clay Aiken A very famous American singer has gone through the surgery of the jaw diagnosis with TMJ disorder. It may affect his career.
Burt Reynolds got injured during the film shooting, and his jaw got an injury. Burt Reynolds has to go for therapy treatment.
Iggy Azalea The young Australian model and singer are also diagnosed with TMJ. It shows that it can cause damage to all ages.