TMJ Treatment Options From A Family Dentist

TMJ Tucson, AZ

There are various ways a family dentist can go about addressing issues with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The TMJs connect a person's skull to their lower jaw. These joints are responsible for any movements made with the mouth, including eating, speaking and smiling.

The symptoms and signs of TMJ problems include:

  • Migraines and headaches
  • Earaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Neck, back and shoulder pain
  • Clicking or popping sounds coming from the jaw
  • Problems opening and closing the mouth

Treating TMJ disorders

TMJ disorders typically go away on their own after a few months. More challenging cases might require some lifestyle changes to speed up the recovery process and to alleviate the symptoms of TMJ. These include:

  • Applying ice or heat to the area
  • Using over-the-counter painkillers to manage any pain
  • Taking anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation
  • Avoiding chewy, sticky foods and chewing gum
  • Essential oils like lavender can provide relief from the symptoms of TMJ

Some cases of TMJ disorders require treatment from a dentist or doctor. Treatments that a family dentist can perform to help cope with a temporomandibular joint disorder include the following:

  • Stretching and massaging the jaw and the muscles around it with stretching exercises
  • Stress management and relaxation techniques
  • Dental splints can be used to keep teeth in their proper position and reduce the symptoms of TMJ
  • Using medication like muscle relaxants and steroids to alleviate any pain
  • Botox® injections can be used to treat TMJ issues caused by hyperactive muscles. This treatment approach is yet to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration
  • Behavioral therapy can be used to address habits that aggravate the TMJs
  • TMJ arthroscopy
  • Total joint replacement. This is usually reserved for the most extreme cases

What life after TMJ looks like

Most cases of TMJ disorders resolve themselves within a few months. Cases that do not go away can be addressed with the treatments listed above. Most people who develop problems with their temporomandibular joints can undergo treatment and return to life without TMJ pain.

People can reduce their risk of developing issues with their temporomandibular joints in the future by maintaining proper posture, avoiding chewing gum and eating mostly soft foods. Using protective equipment like mouthguards when participating in sports reduces the risk of the temporomandibular joints being damaged by trauma to the face. Additionally, wearing a nightguard when sleeping helps reduce bruxism, which can lead to TMJ disorders. 

When to seek treatment

Anyone who has noticed stiffness in their jaw, pain, or inflammation that has lasted more than a few months should visit a family dentist for a diagnosis. The dentist can evaluate the severity of the patient's condition and determine what treatment options are most appropriate for them.

Visual examinations, touch stimulation, and diagnostic tests like CT scans and x-rays are used to make a diagnosis. Most people who get treatment for TMJ disorders are able to restore their bite and their quality of life. Not treating TMJ issues opens the door for complications like chronic headaches.

Get TMJ treatment

Call or visit our Tucson clinic to learn more about how a family dentist can help put TMJ problems behind you.

Request an appointment here: https://www.simplysmilesdentist.com or call Simply Smiles Dentistry at (520) 368-3351 for an appointment in our Tucson office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

Recent Posts

Why You Should Pick Implant Supported Dentures As An Alternative To Dentures And Bridges

Implant supported dentures are a popular tooth replacement option that many dentists recommend for patients who need to replace an entire arch of missing teeth. They are a hybrid option that combines multiple oral prosthetics to replace teeth, which gives the patient the ability to eat, smile and speak naturally. However, with every dental procedure…

4 Tips For Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety is a common problem that people of all ages face when visiting their dentist's office. Oftentimes, anxiety comes from fear of pain or the unknown when in regards to dental conditions or procedures. While it is relatively common to experience dental anxiety, there are a few ways that it can be dealt with.…

How Long Will Teeth Whitening Take Home Trays Results Last?

One of the most popular treatments in dentistry today is teeth whitening. Getting a healthier-looking smile makes the procedure attractive for many individuals. Using take-home trays is a great way to get a brighter smile conveniently. However, you might wonder how long the results will last. Keep reading to find out more about the process.The…

Dental Restoration Options For Decayed Teeth

Patients who have decay might be looking for the right dental restoration option. There are several ones to choose from, including composite filling. Once you understand the options, you can make a more informed decision. Keep reading to find out more.One of the advantages of composite fillings is that the color is easy to match…

Recent Posts

Why You Should Pick Implant Supported Dentures As An Alternative To Dentures And Bridges

Why You Should Pick Implant Supported Dentures As An Alternative To Dentures And Bridges

Implant supported dentures are a popular tooth replacement option that many dentists recommend for patients who need to replace an entire arch of missing teeth. They are a hybrid option that combines multiple oral prosthetics to replace teeth, which gives the patient the ability to eat, smile and speak naturally. However, with every dental procedure…

Tips For Overcoming Dental Anxiety

4 Tips For Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety is a common problem that people of all ages face when visiting their dentist's office. Oftentimes, anxiety comes from fear of pain or the unknown when in regards to dental conditions or procedures. While it is relatively common to experience dental anxiety, there are a few ways that it can be dealt with.…