Potential treatments for TMJ and TMD of Greenwood SC
Temporomandibular disorders, TM disorders, TMJ/TMD, and TMJD are terms used to describe problems with pain and difficulty of movement of the jaw and disease processes of the Temporomandibular Joint. Temporomandibular joints are located on both sides of the head that connect the jawbone to the skull. Temporomandibular dysfunction covers several musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions that frequently co-exist. It may be myofascial pain, which includes the muscles that control the jaw, as well as neck and shoulder muscles. It could be a derangement disorder, which may involve a dislocated jaw or injured bone, or a degenerative disorder, which represents wear and tear of the joint, such as arthritis. This variety and possible combination of conditions complicates diagnosis and treatment.
Many times TMJ pain is short term and will get better over time. For this reason, it is recommended that treatment begin as conservatively as possible. This can include eating soft foods, using ice packs, gentle facial exercises, moist heat, and drugs such as anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, antianxiety drugs, and antidepressants.
The most common dental treatment for TMJ disorders is occlusal splints or bruxguards. Occlusal splints are clear acrylic appliances that fit over the teeth. These devices help to reduce and control the forces of grinding and clenching as well as provide support to the temporomandibular joints. They can reduce muscle tension, potentially allow a displaced disc to go back into place and provide other diagnostic information necessary to sufficiently diagnose a patient’s problem and source of discomfort.
Some healthcare providers may recommend other treatments such as Injections of Botox, steroids, and/or surgery. Safe treatment for temporomandibular disorders can begin at the office of Dr. Christopher Griffin D.M.D. Treatment may be as simple as an examination and advice on changes you could make in diet and lifestyle. If further treatment is needed, you can count on Dr. Christopher Griffin’s expertise to guide you to the best treatment.
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