TMJ disorder is an issue that affects many Americans each year. It leads to jaw pain, limited jaw movement and other symptoms. Dentists can diagnose, treat and prevent TMJ disorder through a variety of methods. It is helpful to understand how the diagnostic and treatment process works for TMJ to determine if you should visit…
TMJ Treatment Options
TMJ disorder can cause an immense amount of pain and serious dysfunction in the jaw and facial region. It is necessary to see a general dentist for TMJ disorder treatment options. General dentists undergo extensive training that prepares them to properly diagnose and treat TMJ.
General dentists treat TMJ disorders
Thinking only a medical professional can treat TMJ? In fact, dental professionals are often the first point of contact when someone is experiencing problems with their jaw. TMJ disorder needs treatment and general dentists are able to provide their patients with the appropriate options. The fact that TMJ can also negatively affect one’s neck, teeth and more, makes it essential for anyone who thinks they may have TMJ to get a diagnosis so they can understand their treatment options.
Options for treating TMJ
Because there are quite a few options for treating this jaw-related disorder, it is necessary for TMJ patients to be thoroughly evaluated by a general dentist. This evaluation allows them to understand how mild or how severe their case of TMJ is, as well as understand more about their treatment options. The list below includes three of the more common types of treatment options prescribed by general dentists.
#1 – Oral appliance therapy
Oral appliances are often used to treat TMJ patients. An oral appliance is a dental device that is made to fit in the mouth with a goal of preventing any actions that can get in the way of one’s proper jaw alignment. Examples of oral appliances prescribed by a general dentist include night guards and bite splints, of which both offer TMJ patients certain types of benefits, e.g., correcting bad bites, preventing teeth grinding. Since general dentists custom-make these oral appliances, patients can expect optimal results.
#2 – Prescribed medication therapy
Some TMJ patients will benefit from taking certain types of prescribed medications. The fact that there a few different types of medications that general dentists can prescribe makes it essential for dentists to understand the exact condition of a patient's case of TMJ. Examples of prescribed medications include high dose anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers for those who participate in teeth grinding and/or teeth clenching and anti-anxiety medications to help patients who have a lot of stress in their lives.
#3 – Self-care therapy
A general dentist will often prescribe a patient who has a mild case of TMJ with one or more self-care therapies to perform at home. These self-care treatments will vary from patient to patient and is dependent on their particular case of TMJ. Examples of self-care therapies include only eating soft foods instead of hard or tough foods, practicing certain jaw stretching exercises, easy ice to reduce any swelling in the jaw area and practicing meditation techniques.
Need a TMJ appointment?
After reading the above information on TMJ treatments, those who are in need of treatment are informed of what they may need to undergo in order to treat their case of TMJ. In order for one to know which treatment option is ideal for them, they will need to make an appointment with a general dentist to learn more. Any TMJ questions can be asked during this appointment.
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