Temporomandibular joint disorder is a painful jaw condition, and anyone who is suffering from TMJ wants a speedy solution. The problem is, research on TMJ treatment is ongoing —and as of yet, no single approach has been proven to be effective for every patient.
To relieve TMJ pain and restore jaw function, oral surgeons may recommend one or more strategies. If you’ve been diagnosed with the disorder, your TMJ treatment plan may involve any of the following.
For some people with temporomandibular joint disorder, relief can be found through a few simple self-care strategies.
When you seek out TMJ treatment from an oral surgeon, you can expect to start with lifestyle changes, as that’s the safest approach. Your surgeon may advise you to:
- Take smaller bites of food
- Avoid chewy, hard and crunchy foods
- Forgo caffeine and alcohol
- Massage the jaw and neck muscles
- Stop smoking or using tobacco
- Find ways to reduce your stress
The goal in TMJ treatment is to alleviate pain and restore jaw joint mobility, and many patients find that self-care strategies aren’t entirely effective.
For additional help with relieving the troubling symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder, oral surgeons consider conservative measures. You may be encouraged to try:
- Applying ice packs or moist heat to the affected joint
- Wearing a night guard or stabilization splint to prevent tooth grinding
- Taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
- Using a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device
- Trigger-point injections of pain medication or an anesthetic
- A prescription muscle relaxant medication to loosen the jaw muscles
The best way to determine the right treatment approach for you is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced TMJ dentist or oral surgeon in your area.
When the pain and jaw joint dysfunction caused by temporomandibular joint disorder is severe, oral surgery may be recommended.
Surgical treatment is a last-resort option, but it can be an effective solution for TMJ. If you’ve tried every other approach to no avail, one of these procedures may help:
- Arthrocentesis, a minimally invasive treatment during which the oral surgeon flushes the joint space and, in some cases, injects a lubricant or corticosteroid
- Arthroscopy, a procedure to remove jaw tissues or to repair the articular discs, aided by a fiber optic camera inserted through a small incision in the joint
- Arthroplasty, an open-joint surgery done under general anesthesia for the purpose of resolving structural problems in the jaw
Are you in need of TMJ treatment? If you live in Wayne Township, Wayne County or the greater east central Indiana area, turn to the professional team at Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. We specialize in treating conditions of the jaw joint, and our team has the experience to help you get the relief you need.
Don’t let temporomandibular joint disorder affect your quality of life —contact Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and schedule a consultation to discuss TMJ treatment today.