Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is not uncommon and can cause severe complications with improper care. If you are experiencing jaw pain, headache, and facial pain, you might be suffering from the condition. The NY Neurology Associates’ team of neurologists treats TMJ in New York and can help you. The providers will diagnose the cause of your symptoms to help you get the care that can resolve your warning signs and avoid complications. Here is all about TMJ treatment.
Causes of TMJ
Knowing the cause of the temporomandibular joint disorder is vital in receiving the best care. In most cases, the condition occurs if you have bite balance complications caused by misaligned, missing, or crooked teeth. But you can also endure the difficulty with perfectly aligned bites. Therefore, the following are generally the causes of temporomandibular joint disorder:
- Excessive chewing
- Orthodontic braces
- Inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders
- Stress or anxiety
- Poor posture
- Teeth grinding
The main temporomandibular joint disorder symptom is pain in the jaw joint. Since the joint is located just in front of the ear and connects several structures, the pain may involve your ear, face, forehead, neck, or eyes. You may experience:
- Pain in the jaw
- The clicking of the jaw
- Headaches including migraines
- Cracking or pain in your ears
- Pain that feels like a toothache
- Sore, stiff, or tight neck or jaw muscles
- Blurred vision
- Muscle spasm
- Difficulty chewing
Note that there is no specific test to diagnose the temporomandibular joint disorder. If you are experiencing the earlier mentioned symptoms, your provider will look back in your medical history and do a physical exam to get to the root of your condition. Your provider can also recommend some imagery tests such as MRI to detect damage caused to the joint or rule out some complications. Besides, your provider may also work with other providers to confirm the diagnosis of several complications.
Once your provider understands the root cause of your symptoms, they can recommend several treatments, including home remedies depending on the severity of your condition. Home remedies include:
Over-the-counter medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other painkillers, including acetaminophen (Tylenol) and aspirin (Ecotrin)
- Applying ice or cold packs to the painful joint
- Gentle self-massage or stretching of the neck or jaw muscles
- Eating soft foods and avoiding chewing gum
- Stress management and reduction
- Relaxation techniques
Many symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder can respond well to these home remedies. However, when your condition is severe, the remedies may not be effective. Your provider will have to recommend treatment to offer long-term relief. But note that if your TMJ is from an underlying condition, managing the particular disease is the effective way to manage your disorder.
- Botox to relax the jaw muscles
- A dental splint
- Physical therapy including jaw exercises to strengthen the jaw muscles and improve flexibility and range of motion
- Biofeedback or cognitive-behavioral therapy to diminish the intensity of your pain
- Trigger point acupuncture
- Prescription medications
When your condition worsens and becomes chronic, jaw or dental surgery may become necessary. You may undergo TMJ arthroscopy or sometimes a total joint replacement.
If you are enduring temporomandibular joint disorder, reach out to NY Neurology Associates to learn how you can manage the condition. The highly qualified team will diagnose your condition and recommend suitable options for you.