TMJ Therapy

TMJ Treatment in Ogden, Utah

TMJ dysfunction or temporomandibular joint dysfunction is a common problem for many people. This condition develops over time and can be caused for several reasons. It is usually challenging to determine which cause created the TMJ dysfunction. Common causes include unaligned jaw bone, arthritis in the joint, or trauma to the joint. Once Dr. Palmer diagnoses you with TMJ dysfunction, it is important to seek treatment. First, let’s look at the symptoms. 

Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction

Most patients know when their TMJ dysfunctions. The disorder is accompanied by pain, difficulty with movement, aching, locking of the jaw, and discomfort while chewing. Some patients experience a clicking sound when opening and closing their mouths. Next, we will discuss how Dr. Palmer will diagnose TMJ dysfunction. 

Diagnosis of TMJ Dysfunction 

There are no confirming tests to diagnose TMJ dysfunction. Instead, Dr. Palmer will listen to your symptoms and examine how the jaw moves. He may order an x-ray if he feels there is a problem concerning your teeth or jaw. Last, we will discuss treatment options for TMJ dysfunction. 

Treatment of TMJ Dysfunction

TMJ Dysfunction is a complex disorder that involves your jaw structures and everyday habits. Dr. Palmer may prescribe pain relief medications, lifestyle changes, or surgery depending on the TMJ dysfunction’s cause and severity. Let’s look at each treatment option in more detail. 

Lifestyle Changes. TMJ dysfunction can either be caused by teeth clenching and grinding. Everyday activities can cause teeth clenching or grinding. These activities may include stress at work or driving in traffic. One way to prevent clenching and grinding is first to recognize when you do it. Once you know this, you can reduce or eliminate the stress during the events that cause clenching and grinding. For example, listen to your favorite music while driving in traffic. 

Pain Medication. If you are in a lot of pain, Dr. Palmer may prescribe pain medication. This can include anything from over-the-counter solutions to prescription medications. Over-the-counter solutions include NSAIDs, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Acetaminophen can help reduce pain, while ibuprofen can reduce pain and inflammation if you are in constant pain. Alternate acetaminophen and ibuprofen for the best results. The next medication that Dr. Palmer may prescribe is tricyclic antidepressants. He does not prescribe this because you are depressed, but rather in low doses, it can reduce teeth grinding and create pain relief. 

Surgeries

There are a number of surgeries that Dr. Palmer could recommend. Surgery types range from minimally invasive options to steroid injections to open-joint surgery. First, a minimally invasive surgery, also called arthrocentesis, irrigates the joint with a small cannula and needle. Steroid, or corticosteroid, injections are used to relax the jaw muscle and relieve pain. Many patients find relief with this. However, it is only recommended that patients receive three injections anywhere on their bodies per year. Next, if you are experiencing pain and a locking jaw, a modified condyloma may help relieve your symptoms. This surgery works on the mandible, the jaw bone, rather than the jaw joint itself. Last is the most invasive surgery, the open-joint surgery. This is also called an arthrotomy. It is used to repair a surgical problem in the jaw. The joint itself can also be replaced in this surgery option. 

 

TMJ dysfunction is a complicated disorder because it can include structural problems in the joint and lifestyle habits. At Laurence Palmer DDS, our goal is to help you receive the care you need. If you have TMJ dysfunction, call our office today. 

We look forward to hearing from you.