TMJ Treatments in Middletown, NJ
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) occurs as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint, and surrounding facial muscles that control movement of the jaw. Treatment options include a splint, or bite plate, that fits over your upper and lower teeth like a mouth sports guard.
Symptoms of TMJ
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from TMJ:
- Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or yawn
- Limited ability to open the mouth wide
- Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open-or closed-mouth position
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the joint when the mouth is opened or closed
- Tired feeling in the face or neck
- Difficulty chewing
- Sudden uncomfortable feeling when biting
- Swelling on the side of the face
- Toothaches, headaches or neck aches
- Hearing problems or ringing in the ears
Causes of TMJ
The exact cause of TMJ is not known; however, scientists believe it can be caused by:
- Teeth grinding or bruxism
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
Treatment options for TMJ
Many times, TMJ symptoms can be treated at home with stress-reducing exercises, ice packs and anti-inflammatory pain medication, such as aspirin or Tylenol, and eating soft foods.
If, however, the symptoms of TMJ do not go away on their own medical treatment may be required. Your doctor may show you some muscle stretching and relaxation exercises to perform at home that may help relax the jaw. You may be fitted with a splint, or bite plate, that fits over your upper and lower teeth like a mouth sports guard. The splint is designed to reduce clenching or grinding at night, thus easing muscle tension.
If the non-invasive treatment options do not reduce your pain or tenderness more invasive procedures can be tried at your dentist’s or doctor’s office. Options such as cortisone shots can help relieve inflammation and pain.