TMJ Treatment in Somerville, MA

People suffering from TMJ diseases go through a tough time dealing with daily activities. Simple things like eating or talking make it hard for them because of the disorder. The temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) is a broad term encompassing various problems related to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that connects the lower jaw to the bone at the side of your head.

The temporomandibular joints are complex and comprise muscles, tendons, and bones. They each have a disc between the ball and the socket. The disc cushions the load while enabling the jaw to open widely and rotate or glide. Any problem that prevents this complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs, and bones from working as it should is referred to as TMJ disorder.

Are TMJ Treatments Painful?

The experience of TMJ treatments depends largely on the specific type of treatment being administered, as the treatments can range from non-invasive therapies to surgical procedures.

Non-Invasive Treatments

These are usually not painful. It includes treatments like physical therapy exercises, dietary changes, and stress management techniques. These strategies can help manage TMJ symptoms without causing any pain.

Medication

Depending on the type, medication does not cause pain and can even manage TMJ-related pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce inflammation and pain in the joint. Muscle relaxants or anti-anxiety medications can help reduce muscle spasms or stress-related clenching that exacerbates TMJ symptoms.

Dental Work

Some dental interventions can cause temporary discomfort. For example, wearing a bite guard or oral splint can feel uncomfortable at first but is usually something that a person can adjust to fairly quickly. Orthodontic work may cause temporary discomfort as the mouth adjusts to braces or other appliances but is not generally described as intensely painful.

Injections

Injections such as corticosteroids or Botox can be used to help with TMJ pain. The injection might be slightly uncomfortable or painful, but local anesthetics are usually applied to minimize this.

Surgical Procedures

These are usually more invasive and thus have a greater potential for causing pain. However, pain management, including local or general anesthetics, is a standard part of all surgical procedures. The level of discomfort experienced post-procedure varies from person to person and depends on the specific surgical approach used.

Lastly, recovery from TMJ treatments, especially surgical ones, may involve some discomfort or pain. However, follow-up care typically includes pain management strategies to make recovery as comfortable as possible.

Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder can manifest in various ways, and symptoms can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms experienced by people include:
  • Jaw Pain. This is the most common symptom, with some often describing aching pain in and around the jaw area.

  • Clicking and Popping Noises. These sounds occur when a person moves their jaw and are often accompanied by pain or a grating sensation.

  • Difficulty in Chewing. People with TMJ disorder may experience pain or discomfort while chewing or an inability to open their mouth wide.

  • Lockjaw. In more severe situations, the jaw may get stuck or locked in place, making it difficult to open or close the mouth.

  • Earache. Pain or discomfort in and around the ear is sometimes mistaken for an ear infection.

  • Headaches. Constant tension headaches or migraines are common, often rooted in TMJ dysfunction.

  • Facial Pain. Pain radiating along the jaw and face is common, as TMJ affects the facial expressions and movement muscles.

Tips for Preventing TMJ Disorder

  • Practice Good Posture. Maintaining a good posture, especially regarding neck and head alignment, can reduce strain on the TMJ.

  • Avoid Chewing Gum. Constant chewing can put stress on the jaw joints and muscles, which could exacerbate TMJ symptoms.

  • Dental Guards. For those who clench or grind their teeth at night, using a dental guard can help distribute the pressure and prevent damage to the joint.

  • Eat Soft Foods. When experiencing TMJ pain, eating soft foods that require minimal chewing can rest the jaw and help alleviate symptoms.

  • Perform Jaw Exercises. Gentle jaw exercises can help maintain mobility and reduce tightness in the jaw muscles. However, it’s important to perform these exercises under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Relieve Your Pain With Quality TMJ Treatments at Smile Dental Group

If you are suffering from TMJ disorder, do not hesitate to seek treatment. At Smile Dental Group in Somerville, MA, our experienced dentists can provide comprehensive and personalized TMJ treatments to relieve your pain and improve your overall oral health. 

We understand that every individual is unique, and therefore, our treatment plans are tailored to your specific needs. Our team uses the latest techniques and technology to ensure a comfortable and effective treatment experience for our patients.

Call us now to schedule an appointment!

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