Around 12 percent of Americans suffer from temporomandibular joint disorders. Understanding the causes and symptoms of TMD is essential for successful treatment.
What is Temporomandibular Disorder
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. This joint allows you to move your jaw upward, downwards, sideways, backward, and forward. When this joint becomes damaged or diseased, it can lead to localized pain called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD/TMJ). Temporomandibular joint disorder is an umbrella term which encompasses all discomforts related to the joint.
Signs of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Temporomandibular joint disorder can manifest in different ways. Some include:
Causes of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Temporomandibular joint disorders may be caused by a single or multiple factors. There is no set cause for TMD but there are several risk factors that may result in or exacerbate its symptoms.
Treatment of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Temporomandibular joint disorder can respond well to home, therapeutic, and sometimes, surgical treatments.
Some home remedies can be effective in reducing the discomfort by TMJ:
In many cases, TMJ disorders go away with these simple home treatments. If the symptoms persist, we may recommend other treatment options.
Some over-the-counter medication can help alleviate TMJ pain. These include anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, antidepressants like amitriptyline, and some muscle relaxants.
Some therapeutic treatments include:
If the above treatments do not work, surgery may sometimes become necessary. Conditions that call for surgical intervention include damage to the joint. In extremely severe cases, the joint may need to be replaced. However, this procedure is very risky and can do more harm than good if not done properly. This is why TMJ replacement surgery is hardly ever done.
TMJ disorders are often non-serious and temporary. With some care and proper treatment, they can disappear after a few months. However, sometimes, the symptoms are very long-lasting and quite severe. When this happens, it can reduce the quality of your life. Therefore, the condition should be diagnosed as soon as possible.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, whether they are mild or severe, call us at (817) 710-2609 today.