A series of illnesses known as Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorders (TMJ) cause discomfort and dysfunction in the jaw joints and muscles controlling mouth movement. Women are more likely to suffer from the illness than males. Jaw joint or muscle discomfort is not usually an indication of something more serious for most individuals. These disorders cause only little discomfort; they come and go in cycles. There are different treatment options for TMJ Disorders with little or no treatment, the discomfort ultimately fades away. On the other hand, more severe and long-lasting symptoms arise for a small percentage of the population.
Experts advocate adopting conservative, reversible treatment options for TMJ disorders until irreversible treatments can promise more safety and effectiveness. Conservative treatments do not require surgery or tissue invasion of the face, jaw, or joint. Reversible therapies do not alter the structure or location of the jaw or teeth permanently. Even if a patient's TMJ condition persists, extensive treatment is unnecessary for most individuals.
Most jaw joint and muscle disorders are transient and don't worsen, so simple treatment may be enough to ease discomfort.
Steps that may alleviate symptoms include:
Many persons with TMJ issues find brief relief from jaw pain with over-the-counter pain medications or NSAIDs. You may be prescribed stronger pain or anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, or anti-depressants by your dentist or physician if necessary.
An oral appliance, also known as a stabilizing splint or bite guard, is a plastic device that fits over any arch. Frequently, stabilization splints help in resolving TMJ issues. Their usefulness in relieving pain is still unproven. Although if the dentist recommends this, there should be no long-term effects on the bite from using this appliance. Stop wearing a splint if it causes discomfort or impairs your bite.
The conservative, reversible remedies suggested are pain relievers, not TMJ solutions. If symptoms last a short time and don't worsen, see your doctor. Stop wearing a splint if it causes discomfort or impairs your bite.
When other treatment options for TMJ disorders fail, your doctor may recommend surgeries like:
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