TMJ TreatmentCoon Rapids, MN
Temporomandibular joints, or TMJ, are responsible for opening and closing the mouth. TMJ treatment can help patients find relief for jaw discomfort, soreness, and pain. The term refers to the jaw as well as nerves, muscles, and ligaments connected to it.
TMJ treatment is available at Northside Minnesota Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons in Coon Rapids, MN and the surrounding area. Our team of dental professionals performs a careful evaluation to understand what may be contributing to the patient's TMJ pain. To schedule a personal evaluation and get started with TMJ treatment, call (763) 284-3159 right away.
Why Temporomandibular Joints Are So Important
The mouth has one temporomandibular joint on each side. These joints connect the jaw to the rest of the face. Besides moving up and down, they also provide motion from side to side. This flexibility is what allows people to talk, laugh, and eat. These activities are vital parts of life.
On the inside, these joints are covered with cartilage for protection. A special disk rests in between the ball and socket to provide extra cushioning. Muscles and tendons connected to the jaw hold it in place and also assist with motion.
Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)
Damage to the individual components of TMJ can lead to several serious problems. These include:
- Intense headaches
- Ear pain
- Chronic TMJ pain
- Tense facial muscles
- Inability to open or close the mouth
These conditions are known as temporomandibular disorders or TMD. Many people call them TMJ, though. We understands how to alleviate joint pain symptoms using a combination of treatment options.
Causes of TMD
Medical professionals are not entirely sure what causes TMD. According to the Mayo Clinic, pain may be due to a combination of physical and genetic factors. Certain conditions can increase your risk of developing TMJ problems or contribute to pain:
- Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can damage cartilage and expose sensitive nerves in the jaw, leading to chronic pain and inflammation of surrounding tissues.
- Jaw injury: A sudden blow or fracture can hurt the TMJ and related bones, cartilage, or disks. Misaligned or damaged parts of this sensitive area can provoke severe pain almost immediately.
- Dislocation: A dislocated jaw can have long-term effects on the tendons, cartilage, and muscles in the affected area.
- Tooth alignment issues: Some people are born with severely misaligned teeth, which can add to the discomfort that joints deal with and cause improper wear.
- Chronic grinding or clenching of teeth: Constantly clenching teeth or grinding them increases the risk of developing TMD and makes it harder to treat inflammation.
- Stress: People under a lot of stress may develop TMJ pain and inflammation if they start to grind or clench the teeth.
TMJ Treatment in Coon Rapids & Minneapolis
It is essential to seek assistance from a dental expert to treat the TMJ disorder. Here is how a dentist can help you:
- Over-the-counter-drugs: Dentists will prescribe the medications to soothe the dental swelling and pain. He might also suggest you relax the muscles by avoiding the clenching or grinding of the teeth.
- Nightguard or splint: It is one of the most recommended TMJ treatments by dentists as a plastic mouthpiece is fit over the lower and upper teeth so that they don’t touch each other. It minimizes the effect of grinding or clenching and helps in improving the bite.
- Dental work: The dentist might replace missing teeth or use bridges or crowns to balance the biting surface of the teeth and correct any bite problems. Only in severe cases are dental surgeries suggested.
In case you are experiencing TMJ problems, contact us and we will guide you through this dental treatment process and answer all your concerns.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the benefits of TMD treatment?
A. Besides offering noninvasive treatment options designed to alleviate symptoms, we also provide physical therapy and advanced techniques to increase patient comfort. The purpose of these treatments is to help patients enjoy a better quality of life:
- Pain relief
- More comfort throughout the day
- Improved concentration
- Increased happiness
- Freedom to eat favorite foods
Q. Do TMJ disorders require surgery?
A. Every patient is unique, and an in-depth analysis is required to determine the best treatment options available. In most cases, patients do not need corrective surgery to provide relief from symptoms. Noninvasive treatment options include prescription medication, physical therapy, mouth guards, orthodontics, and specialized injections. There is also a minimally invasive technique that involves using fluid to irrigate stuck joints and eliminate debris.
Q.How can patients with a TMJ disorder avoid grinding teeth?
A. According to Sleep.org, grinding usually occurs while people are sleeping. It can also happen subconsciously during the day, either due to stress or discomfort from misaligned teeth. One way to avoid this problem is to treat the underlying condition by learning techniques to relax and minimize stress. A mouthguard can also be useful for protecting the teeth from grinding while patients sleep.
Q. How long does TMJ treatment take?
A. The time required to experience relief from TMJ pain varies depending on patients’ lifestyle, what type of symptoms they experience, and what is causing the problem. For example, chronic TMJ pain caused by arthritis may require ongoing sessions for therapy and debris removal. In the case of muscle spasms, treatment may only last a few days or weeks.
Q. What symptoms indicated patients should be evaluated for a TMJ disorder?
A. The main indication of a TMJ disorder is having sharp or persistent pain in the jaw muscles. Some people also hear a distinctive click when opening or closing the mouth. Waking up with a stiff or stuck jaw is another sign that patients may have TMD. According to WebMD.com, people with a TMJ disorder may also notice ringing in the ears, toothaches, headaches, dizziness, neck aches, and hearing issues.
Q. How can you get ready for a TMJ examination?
A. It is a good idea for patients to prepare for their visit with us. This makes it easier to remember the information that helps our team identify problem areas for more effective treatment. Here are a few questions we often asks to diagnose TMJ issues:
- Does a specific activity usually cause you pain?
- Do you have constant pain, or does it come and go?
- Do you have trouble opening your mouth?
- Does it hurt when your jaw clicks?
- Where do you usually feel the most pain?
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