TMJ syndrome is the term covering acute or chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, that connects the mandible to the skull. The disorder and resultant dysfunction can result in significant pain and impairment.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
- The most common symptom of TMJ disorder is pain, with intense discomfort not just in the face and jaw joint, but also the neck and shoulders.
- You might experience an overstretched feeling in your joints, and may also suffer from muscle spasms.
- There is pain during jaw movements like talking or yawning.
- There could also be ear paining, tinnitus or ringing in the ears, or even hearing loss.
- You may even hear a clicking or popping sound when you move the joint. The sounds may be audible to other people also.
- There might be swelling of the face and mouth.
- There may be a shifting in the position of the teeth, or a change in the bite.
- You may find it hard to open the jaw fully, or the jaw may shift to one side after pening.
- You may experience trouble while swallowing.
- There could be nausea, headache or dizziness.
TMJ Syndrome Treatment Options
There are several treatment options including both surgical and non surgical procedures that could be the solutions of your symptoms. If your dentist believes that your problem is caused by a structural disorder, and if your pain is not relieved through occlusal equilibration or the use of splints, then he will recommend the surgical treatment.
Orthognathic surgery is the way to correct conditions of the jaw and face related to structure, growth, sleep apnea, TMJ disorders, correct malocclusion problems owing to skeletal disharmonies or other orthodontic problems that cannot be easily treated with braces.
Who Needs Orthognathic surgery?
People who could benefit from orthognathic surgery include those with an improper bite and those with jaws that are positioned incorrectly. Jaw growth is a slow and gradual process, and in some instances, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. Candidates for orthognathic surgery can suffer from prognathia, retrognathia or a receding lower jaw, often called a weak chin. Double-Jaw Surgery : Double-Jaw surgery literally means that your two jaws will be operated at the same time. Orthognathic surgery on the maxilla or mandible corrects abnormalities in jaw growth that can occur naturally, or corrects deformities caused by congenital conditions. The surgery can involve bone-moving procedures such as osteotomy (bone-cut) and distraction osteogenesis, as well as bone-grafting techniques that may use either artificial bone material or a patient's own bone, taken from elsewhere in the body. The treatment plan may also include orthodontic procedures such as braces.
Pain medicine, Muscle relaxants, Anti-anxiety medications, Antidepressants would help you to relieve the symptoms.
Physical Therapy and Exercise
Applying an ice pack or hot pack will relive pain. Do a few simple stretching exercises for your jaw(as instructed by your physical therapist). After exercising, apply a warm towel to the side of your face for few minutes. Perform this routine a few times each day. -Exercising would reduce amount of pain if you have tense muscle in shoulders or neck.
Dental Splint and Mouth Guard
Splints and night guards are plastic mouthpieces that fit over the upper and lower teeth. They prevent the upper and lower teeth from coming together, lessening the effects of clenching or grinding the teeth. They also correct the bite by positioning the teeth in their most correct and least traumatic position. Your dentist will discuss with you what type of mouth guard appliance you may need. (These can only be worked for the patients that do not present change of teeth.)
Botox is used as an alternative treatment for TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) disorders and associated jaw tension and pain. Botox relieves jaw tension by making muscles unable to engage in the powerful, often unconscious movement of the jaw that produces headaches and pain. It is also a great option for an esthetic reason.
Corrective Dental Treatment
Replace missing teeth, use crowns, bridges, or braces to balance the biting surfaces of your teeth or to correct a bite problem. Before or after the Orthognathic surgery, the symptoms would be reduced by treatments using braces.
KMH Recommended Tips
- If your symptoms have just developed, you would expect such an improvement by getting some rest and simple exercises. However, If you have had ongoing TMJ symptoms for a while, it is necessary to get a consultation with professionals.
- Bite splints, mouth guards or dental braces would bring effective recovery when combining with other temporomandibular joint corrective treatment methods.
- It is strongly recommended for you to begin treatment if your symptoms have been on for a while because it could cause severe pain to your entire body.
How to prevent TMJ Syndrome
- Do regular progressive muscle relaxation.
- Avoid nail biting and nibbing on pencils or other objects.
- Refrain from tough foods, gum etc.
- Try to chew with both sides of the teeth.
- Maintain good posture by lining up your ear, shoulder, and hip in a straight line.
- Do not open your mouth too widely without any preparation.
- Remove as much as stressors possible if you can.