TMJ problems are one of the most perplexing dental problems that many people face. Many people with TMJ problems go to multiple doctors and dental offices, to figure out what is causing the pain and how to best treat it. The reason TMJ is so painful and irritating to the patient is that the TMJ sits right behind a major nerve in the face. Hence, when having pain here - can possibly feel it all across the face, jaw, eyes, and mouth.
We will be discussing TMD and TMJ in this Dentist Blog article. We will be discussing what are TMD and TMJ, as well as discussing ways of treating these disorders of the jaw. At DentalChat - we do get many different types of local dental questions online from all over. One of the dental topics many people have Online Dentist Questions or have a Local Dentist Question about TMJ - and more specifically, what should I do about my TMJ pain? The thing to keep in mind with TMD and TMJ pain or symptoms is that - it is treatable, though for some people it may not be curable. Treating TMJ can be tricky and not easy to do - as there may be multiple factors causing a person to have TMJ. Some of these factors such as stress and anxiety, can be hard to control for many people. Some people with TMJ will say they have gone to over a half dozen doctors and dentists, and still, they have not found something to help with their TMJ pain. First, it is good to understand what is TMJ Disorder and then try to take some right steps to help treat it.
1. Try to relax - especially before going to sleep. Things such as gentle stretching or reading enjoyable topics can help.
2. Wearing a night guard? For some, this may help a lot - especially those who grind their teeth while speeling.
3. Try not to overly open your mouth. Remember, your TMJ is where the jaw and skull connect. Do not "pop it."
4. Try gentle massaging exercises.
5. Softer foods - try to have softer foods.
Let's try to discuss TMD - TMJ disorder in a simple way. TMJ is like a ball and socket hinge that is located towards the back of the jaw (close to the ear area). TMJ are joints that connect the jaw to the skull. There are 2 TMJ areas in the body. One on the right side and the other on the left side of the face & skull. These 2 work in tandem when one is speaking or chewing food. So, if one side is having an issue, then the other side can be thrown off balance. This can cause a person to start having pain. TMD and TMJ are used by many interchangeably. TMD is more a complex array of temporomandibular issues including the bone, joints, muscles, etc. - while TMJ disorder is more specific to the joint itself.
Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) and Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) thankfully do not affect a large percentage of people. Still, some 10 million people by some estimates in the US have this condition. The people that have TMD or TMJ conditions, it can result in quite a bit of pain and soreness of the jaw. Many people with TMJ will say they feel clicking when chewing or when they are moving their jaw. Simple jaw movement activity such as yawning can cause people with TMJ disorder to experience a good amount of pain. Treating TMJ disorder in a non-surgical way may require several things to be addressed. The person may need to evaluate their diet and may need to adjust their lifestyle to be less stressful. We will discuss this further in this TMJ Dental Blog.
We do offer Local Teledental TMJ Consultation Online at DentalChat.
The simple answer to that is yes. By some estimates and studies done on TMJ, over 80% of people affected by TMJ pain are women. The reasons why this is not completely understood - but researchers believe that women's hormonal changes, not having enough nutrients in the body (maybe excess dieting?) or some women may be having increased levels of stress & anxiety. Of course, both men and women have stress and anxiety. Having a healthy diet is important and understanding the hormonal changes in the body is another. Women have been shown to be more prone to eating disorders such as bulimia - with some studies showing bulimia in women happens much more frequently (something like a 9 to 1 women-to-men ratio). Eating disorders can affect a person's overall health - even in the mouth. Anorexia has been shown to be much more prevalent in women than men. People with anorexia have been shown to have a much higher likelihood of having halitosis (bad breath), much more hypotension, and tension of the muscles in the body. This tension, may be one of the causes possibly of TMJ? Having a good diet, understanding the hormonal changes, and trying to keep anxiety to a minimum may be a good way of trying to reduce TMJ for some people.
Treating TMD and TMJ Disorders can be challenging - as there may be multiple factors causing this issue. Having a good understanding of the personal diet and the daily activities that they participate in. This can include heavy weight lifting, rigid sports, or if they have a very stressful job can all be part of the reason the person is having TMJ pain. Some doctors may prescribe some medications such as muscle relaxants such as diazepam (valium) or pain medications such as stronger forms of ibuprofen to help with the pain. Here are three ways doctors use to treat TMD Disorder / TMJ Disorder in a non-surgical way.
(1) Counseling - trying to use various methods of relaxing the patient and controlling the amount of stress & anxiety.
(2) Medications such as pain relievers and muscle relaxants.
(3) Using various oral appliances such as mouth guard or various oral splints.
If at all possible, it is best to try to treat TMD - TMJ Disorders with a non-surgical approach.
If at all possible, most doctors try to stay away from doing surgery to relieve the TMJ disorder - trying their best to try various non-surgical alternatives. For some people though, they have tried many of the non-surgical TMJ Treatments to no avail These people still have very bad pain in the TMJ area - and see no option other than trying a surgical TMJ Treatment approach.
One thing to keep in mind. TMJ treatment and TMD diagnosis can be challenging. Finding the right dental specialists and dental offices to get TMJ treatment is important. Also, doing the right TMJ type of exams and TMJ tests is important.
Before doing TMJ surgery - first, your doctor may use various advanced imaging such as MRI & CT Scan. TMJ surgical procedures include TMJ arthroscopy to better understand & diagnose the TMJ disorder. When doing TMJ arthroscopy, the doctor will insert a small thin tube (cannula) into the joint space with a small camera (arthroscope) to better see what is going on - and then use small surgical instruments to complete the process of treatment. This arthroscopy can be somewhat limited, though preferred by some doctors because it is a less invasive form of surgery. A more extensive form of TMD Surgery / TMJ Surgery is an open-joint surgery (arthrotomy), which is to repair or replace the joint. However, the open-joint surgery process & treatment, does involve more risks since it is more invasive.
We have discussed TMJ Pain online treatment and Non-surgical TMJ Treatmentment Chat on here. We will be discussing this further in other dental blogs at DentalChat. Do you have a TMJ Question - want a teledentistry TMJ Consult?
Here is another dental blog at DentalChat.com that might interest you. Tooth Pain Chat Online and Discussing Causes of Teeth Pain. We are discussing tooth pain - here is the link