Sometimes TMJ disorders are associated with clicking sound while opening the mouth or chewing and no pain. Then treatment may not be needed.
TMJ disorders are caused by:
if the disk erodes or has improper alignment,
Damaged joint cartilage by arthritis and mechanical trauma to the joint.
But in many cases the cause remains unclear.
4 Making a Diagnosis
Making a diagnosis of TMJ disorder is done during physical examination.
The doctor will perform a thorough physical examination in which the doctor would listen to the sound or fell the jaw while opening or closing the mouth, observe the range of movement in the jaw and press on the areas to identify the sights of pain and discomfort.
X- ray, CT scan and MRI may be recommended in some severe cases.
In some cases, the disorder resolves in its own without treatment but in other cases the following treatment options are available:
Medications: Pain relievers, tricyclic anti-depressants, for pain relief only, muscle relaxants and sedatives are used to relieve the symptoms.
Therapies: Oral splints are soft and firm device inserted over the teeth to relieve pain. physical therapy which include ultrasound, moist heat and ice application over the joint helps a lot.
Surgical and other procedures: Arthrocentesis is a procedure which involves insertion of needles into the joint to remove fluid and debris. Injections of corticosteroids or botulinum toxin to relieve pain associated with TMJ disorders. If the pain does not resolve by conservative treatment, then doctor may recommend surgical repair or replacement of the joint.
Preventive measures of TMJ disorder are:
avoid chewing gum,
avoid biting pencils or fingernails,
avoid food that is difficult to chew,
following relaxation techniques,
maintaining proper posture
and doing regular jaw exercises.
7 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies
The following alternative remedies may help to alleviate symptoms of TMJ disorder:
Stretching and massage: The doctor may recommend some exercises that stretch and strengthen the jaw uscles and may also show the ways of massaging muscles.
Heat or cold: Applying warm, moist heat or ice to the area of siorder may decrease the symptoms.
Some additional alternatives include: Accupuncture which includes insertion of thin needles into specific locations of the body to treat pain, slowing breathing and talking deep regular breaths may relax the muscles and use of special electronic devices that monitor the tightness of specific muscles.
8 Lifestyle and Coping
Some of the lifestyle changes required after acquiring TMJ disorder include:
Avoid overuse of jaw muscles: Eating soft foods or small cut pieces of food may help relieve tension of muscles. Avoid sticky food like chewing gums.
9 Risks and Complications
TMJ disorder has the following risk factors:
Gender: Women are more likely to have this disorder then men.
Age: TMJ disorder occurs more in people within the age of 20-40 but it may occur at any age.
Common complication is complete locked jaw and unable to open or close mouth.
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