TMD stands for temporomandibular joint disorder. This issue usually involves pain in the temporomandibular joint, which is often referred to as TMJ, and the problem may also make it difficult to either open or close the jaw. Persons who have been diagnosed with TMD often look for ways to ease the discomfort and improve jaw…
How TMD Is Treated?
TMD is a condition that causes pain in the jaw. If you have TMD, you might have clicking or popping sounds when you try to open or close your mouth. The good news is that you have several treatment options available. Keep reading to find out more.
Treating the condition
Sometimes, the symptoms might go away without being treated. If the symptoms do persist, the dentist might recommend one or more treatment options. Some might be done at the same time. For instance, some medications might help to relieve the pain.
The dentist might prescribe a stronger pain reliever or anti-inflammatory medication. That will be taken for a limited time. Sometimes, antidepressants might be used in very low doses. These might help with controlling bruxism, pain relief, or sleeplessness. Muscle relaxants can also be used to help prevent muscle spasms in the jaw.
A dentist might give the patient an oral splint or a mouthguard. Oftentimes, people who have jaw pain can benefit from this device. It is either firm or soft, and it goes over the teeth. It is not known why this might be helpful.
Physical therapy can also be done. This might include using ice or moist heat, as well as ultrasounds. Counseling might be done. This includes education on what can increase the pain and tips on avoiding it. For instance, chewing on hard objects will not help the area.
Surgical procedures for TMD
A patient might also have modified condylotomy which can indirectly address the condition. The surgery will be done on the mandible but not on the joint. It can be a helpful treatment for locking and pain. With open joint surgery, the joint might be replaced completely.
This is used if conservative treatments are not working. That will be done if there appears to be a structural issue in the joint. However, this procedure does have some risks to it. The patient will need to discuss the pros and cons of doing it. It is important to consider the potential risks.
Making lifestyle changes
Patients will want to become more aware of habits that are related to tension. That includes grinding the teeth, clenching the jaw, or chewing hard objects. By doing this, the patients can better reduce the frequency of them. It is a good idea to avoid overusing the jaw muscles, which can place a strain on them.
Patients should avoid chewing gum and should cut food into smaller bits. Sticky and chewy foods should be avoided. Sometimes, massaging or stretching the joint can help. The dentist can show the patient the right way to do these exercises in order to strengthen the muscles.
Get TMD treatment today
If you feel that you might have TMD, you should make an appointment with your dentist. The dentist can help to diagnose the condition and come up with a treatment plan. That way, you can get relief from your pain. Making an appointment today is your first step.
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