TMJ (temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder) affects over 10 million Americans, is often painful, and can drastically hinder your quality of life. If TMJ is getting the best of you, schedule a visit with Dr. Rosita Hamidi, Dr. Ankur Dahiya, or Dr. Mayra Wong at Houston-based Smile Time Dental to learn more about TMJ treatment options. You can also book an appointment online using the website.
TMJ, otherwise known as temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder, is a condition that causes dysfunction and pain in and around your jaw joint, including jaw muscles that control movement. Common symptoms of TMJ include:
Tenderness or pain near your jaw
Difficulty or pain while chewing
Aching in your face or neck
Locking or popping in your jaw
The headaches and other pain caused by TMJ can hinder your quality of life, which is why treatment is so important.
Sometimes you’ll have TMJ with no known cause, but certain factors increase your risk for developing this chronic health condition. Common causes of TMJ include:
Jaw joint disk erosion
Jaw joint damage from trauma
Damage of jaw joint cartilage
Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
Grinding or clenching of your teeth
Connective tissue diseases
The dental team at Smile Time Dental diagnoses TMJ by noting your symptoms and medical history, and conducting a thorough dental examination. Dr. Hamidi, Dr. Dahiya, or Dr. Wong checks for signs of TMJ – such as popping sounds when opening and closing your mouth – and may order imaging tests. These tests often include X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs.
If you have TMJ, your dentist works with you to come up with the treatment option that best meets your needs. Typically, less is more, which is why the team of dentists at Smile Time Dental usually recommend the least invasive option first. Common treatments for TMJ include:
Over-the-counter pain medications
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
Wearing a stabilization splint (night guard) at night
Arthrocentesis (draining joint fluid)
Jaw strengthening exercises
Relaxation exercises (this helps with headaches too)
Ice or heat packs
Dr. Hamidi and the team at Smile Time Dental find a TMJ treatment you’re most comfortable with, or may suggest several treatment strategies. You can also try eating softer foods, avoiding gum, and steering clear of nail biting to reduce TMJ symptoms.
When you’re ready to ease TMJ pain, call Smile Time Dental today or book an appointment online.