The joints that connect your jaw to the skull are known as temporomandibular joints. These joints are surrounded by cartilages. In addition, there are small shock absorbers that separate them, ensuring smooth movement.
When the joints are damaged or injured, it leads to pain or discomfort. This can cause temporomandibular joints disorders which will require you to go for TMJ treatment near you. The disorder is mainly caused by;
- Arthritis in the joints
- Direct trauma to the jaw or teeth,
- Dealignment of the jaws or teeth,
- Bruxism or grinding of the teeth which stresses out the joints
Symptoms of TMJ
The most common symptom of TMJ disorder is pain or discomfort in the jaw joints. Due to its location, the pain may extend toward the ear, forehead, eye, forehead, or neck. If you experience any of the following, visit our dentist near Houston for TMJ treatment in Houston.
- The appearance of lumps or swelling on your temple
- Having difficulties or pain when chewing or opening your mouth
- Grating, popping, or clicking sounds when opening your mouth to eat or talk in the joints
- Headaches and dizziness which can cause nausea
- Muscle spasms which are accompanied by swallowing difficulties
- Stiffness or tenderness in the jaws, especially around the joints
- Blurred eyesight
- Lockjaw or dislocation of the jaw after a wide yawn
- A tingling sensation or numbness on the chin
When diagnosing TMJ disorders at Cabrera Dental Associates, a few procedures are followed. First, you will be required to provide your medical history and explain the symptoms you are experiencing. In addition, some of the following questions may be asked by our Best TMJ Specialist in Houston.
- Are you in the habit of biting your nails or grinding your teeth?
- What is the location of the pain or discomfort you are experiencing?
- The type of pain you are experiencing, whether it’s an ache, sharp or throbbing pain?
Our doctor then performs a physical examination of your face, neck, jaw joint, and head. The following will be noted during the examination.
- The location of the pain you are experiencing
- Your teeth alignment, bone abnormalities, and dental procedures you have had
- The scale of the pain as the jaw is being manipulated
- Your ability to move the jaw sideways, forward, and backward without discomforts
Depending on the conclusions made by the doctor after a physical examination, the doctor may suggest more tests. Some of the tests that may be required include;
- An ultrasound will be used to determine the functionality of the TMJ
- Blood tests that are used to rule out some possible causes such as gout, arthritis, or lupus
- MRI or CT scans that are used to obtain the soft tissues and bone structures from the joints.
While some TMJ disorders can disappear without treatment, some will need medical care. TMJ treatment near Houston, TX include;
- Pain relievers. These could be over-the-counter drugs or prescribed by our dentist near you.
- Muscle relaxants. These are prescribed for disorders that are caused by muscle spasms. They can be taken for a week or a few days.
- Antidepressants. Prescribed in low doses, they are used to relieve pain and control bruxism or sleeplessness.
When other treatments don’t work, the doctor may result in surgery. The surgical procedures include;
- Open-joint surgery if a structural abnormality causes the disorder. The surgery repairs or replaces the joints.
- Arthrocentesis involves the insertion of small needles in the joints. This is done to irrigate fluid through the joint to get rid of debris.
Use of occlusal appliances, which include mouth guards or oral splints. A soft device is inserted over the teeth for pain relief.
Professional counseling helps in understanding the factors that aggravate the pain. Some of these factors are teeth clenching, lying on your chin, or biting nails.
Physical therapy includes physical exercises of the jaws. The exercises help in strengthening and stretching jaw muscles. To learn more about the physical therapy tips, visit our TMJ treatment in 77075.
Home Self Care Tips
The following are some home remedies that will help with easing TMJ disorder’s symptoms.
- Eating soft food substances while avoiding sticky or chewy foods
- Pressing a warm or cold pack on the side of your mouth to ease pain
- When practicing the daily oral hygiene routine, use a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Use a water flosser if you are having difficulties with opening your mouth