Do you or a loved one go through frequent jaw or facial pain? Do have difficulty chewing? Or do you often have your jaw “locked out”?
If yes, then these symptoms could refer to problems in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
What is TMJ?
The TMJ is basically like a hinge that connects the jawbone to the skull. When you move your jaw to chew or to talk, it is the TMJ that helps make the movement possible. Sometimes, the TMJ has problems in its movements, which are referred to as TMJ disorders or temporomandibular disorder (TMD).
Often, TMJ problems could lead to other very common symptoms that could cause you a significant amount of pain. One such example of these issues is migraine.
But since the symptoms are so commonplace, it is difficult to diagnose TMJ disorders. Certain credible dentists at places like Next Dentistry are making strides in the diagnosis and treatment of this painful condition.
This treatment is referred to as TMJ therapy.
How Does TMJ Therapy Work?
TMJ therapy works through different ways.
Your dentist at places such as Next Dentistry could take measures that include:
- Pain relief medicine, which essentially help with pain management.
- Muscle relaxants, which help relax your jaw muscles.
- Mouth guards, which help with your jaw movements.
- Physical therapy, which exercises jaw movements.
- Hot and cold therapy, which is to alleviate pain and discomfort.
- Surgery, which is mainly performed in three different ways.
TMJ therapy can be carried out by an experienced dentist who has specialized in this field. Since TMJ therapy is not that common, finding a dentist that could perform this procedure could be difficult.
But thankfully, you could reach out to a proficient dental center in Salinas, CA that specializes in this niche yet necessary field of dentistry.
Out of all the ways, TMJ surgery remains as the most effective method to help you get rid of the TMJ disorder permanently.
How Type of Surgery Can You Benefit From?
There are three types of surgery in TMJ therapy.
This procedure is minimally invasive. Your dentist makes a small incision near your ear to explore your internal joint through a scope. This scope is then inserted into your joint to explore and remove any inflamed tissue. In some cases, this helps in alleviating the TMJ disorder.
In situations where extended surgery is required, arthroscopy can collect findings that help with that procedure. Arthroscopy doesn’t require you to take an extended rest. But the anesthetic might require you to stay away from driving for at least two days.
Also referred to as “open joint” surgery, this procedure is more extensive than an arthroscopy. During this procedure, larger incisions are made for the surgeon to examine and treat the joint by steps such as realignment.
This procedure, while extensive and requiring at least a week of rest, is very effective in cases where arthroscopy alone cannot treat the issue.
Total Joint Replacement
By far the most extensive procedure on this list, total joint replacement, as the name suggests, is the procedure to replace your affected joint with a prosthetic one.
Since the procedure is quite detailed, the recovery time from it could take almost a month, and even more so in some cases.
The best way to move forward with TMJ therapy is by having a detailed discussion with your dentist. Only they could guide you about what is best for you depending on your specific symptoms and physiology.
Make sure that you are reaching out to a dentist at Next Dentistry in Salinas, CA, who has extensive experience in treating TMJ disorders. This would put you on a path of certain recovery while minimizing any side effects.