TMJ, Its Symptoms and What You Should Know
Temporomandibular joint disorders, or TMJ, are a group of conditions that cause dysfunction and pain in the jaw joint and supporting muscles. TMJ is believed to affect about ten million Americans. The cause is not always known or easy to identify, but symptoms can include pain in the jaw joints, a jaw that locks open or shut, a limited range of motion, clicking or popping in the joints, and a change in bite. Dr. Frame might suggest further evaluation if you have any of these symptoms.
TMJ symptoms often respond to conservative therapy. Proper treatment can alleviate your symptoms and help reduce the risk of significant, long-term problems. After Dr. Frame makes a diagnosis, he will provide you with a treatment plan based on your symptoms and needs. It could include resting the jaw by eating soft foods and avoiding extreme movements, such as those associated with gum chewing or wide yawning. Cold or hot packs can be used to ease pain and inflammation. Medications can also be prescribed to alleviate symptoms. Many patients also benefit from using stress reduction techniques and participating in physical therapy exercises.
In cases where TMJ symptoms are triggered by dental issues, treating these can help ease the symptoms. For example, wearing a night guard can reduce bruxism, which can eliminate the pressure on the jaw joints. Orthodontic treatment can correct malocclusion, which can put excessive strain on the jaw. In rare cases, surgery may be needed to correct structural problems, problems related to injury, or degenerative conditions. Call us today to learn more about TMJ treatment or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Frame.
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