TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, causes discomfort in the jaw. Your symptoms might be as mild as a few clicking or popping sounds when you open and close your mouth, or the pain could be so severe that you refrain from talking and yawning. In any case, Dr. Patel can treat TMJ symptoms that don’t go away with gentle home care.
Many structural issues can affect your temporomandibular joints — the hinge joints allow you to open and close your mouth. You have one on each side of your jaw, and the dysfunction can occur on one or both sides. Some of the most prevalent causes of TMJ are arthritis, disc erosion, and jaw injuries.
TMJ can appear with symptoms ranging in severity and can lead to orthodontic complications if it goes untreated in some of the most severe cases. Some signs and symptoms common with TMJ are:
Some cases of TMJ lead to malocclusion, meaning your teeth no longer fit together properly because of misalignment. That can affect your jaw’s function and impact your chewing or speech. Dr. Patel considers your bite alignment while planning treatments for TMJ.
To plan an effective treatment for your TMJ, Dr. Patel determines the underlying cause or causes leading to your joint pain. If the problem is with an adjacent muscle, you can almost always treat it with noninvasive methods. When you find a way to relax those muscles, you find relief from the pain and tension in your jaw.
Dr. Patel offers both surgical and nonsurgical solutions for TMJ symptoms at Smyl Manatee. Your options include:
Mouthguards, or bite guards, are devices you keep in your mouth at night to stop you from grinding your teeth. Teeth grinding can wear down your temporomandibular joints and cause or contribute to TMJ symptoms.
Electrical nerve stimulation helps the muscles surrounding your jaw relax so they’re not so tense and painful. An electric current massages the muscles and eases the tension during the treatment.
Trigger points are tense areas in your muscles. By injecting those exact spots with a numbing medicine or steroid, you can relieve the tension and ease TMJ symptoms.
Most cases of TMJ will not need surgery, but it could be an option if nonsurgical methods don’t lead to lasting relief. He can treat TMJ with arthrocentesis, arthroscopy, or joint replacement surgery.
Physical therapy, diet modifications, and anti-inflammatory medications can also help with TMJ symptoms and complications. If you have malocclusion, Dr. Patel might recommend treating it with braces or Invisalign®.
Schedule your appointment for TMJ treatment over the phone or online at Smyl Manatee today.