TMJ pain management therapies in general dentistry

Tags: jaw pain, tmj

A general dentist can help you relieve your TMJ jaw disease, depending on the cause of the pain. So, diagnosis is often key in determining the type of treatment to be offered. Severe cases of TMJ pain must be referred to a specialist, or if a dentist’s treatment options are not fruitful. Also, TMJ disease caused by misalignment or abnormalities is treated by an orthodontist. However, it is your general dentist that will recommend the need for specialized treatment. Although it is quite easy to manage the disease at home, it is also important to visit the dentist for a diagnosis. This helps prevent its recurrence.

Management of TMJ pain

A dentist begins by conducting a thorough examination of your oral cavity to make a diagnosis. This might be a simple visual examination to check for jaw clicking or soreness in the mouth. A dentist palpates all regions of the jaw to determine the trigger points for the pain. The examination could include x-rays and other digital scans for a precise diagnosis. The examination stage also involves reviewing the patient’s dental history and other medical examinations to determine the cause of the pain.

Once a diagnosis has been made, the dentist implores treatment depending on the cause of the pain, the dentist will discuss your treatment options with you. Surgery is mostly recommended for severe cases of TMJ pain, however, there are less invasive surgical options like arthrocentesis, which involves inserting fluid into the TMJ joint through tiny needles, to flush out debris or inflamed tissue. A dentist may also recommend therapy for non-structural causes of TMJ pain, for example, stress.

Physical therapy like jaw exercise also helps ease some causes of TMJ disorder as well mouthguards to keep the jaw in a relaxed position during sleep. These dental prostheses also keep you from clenching and gnashing your teeth at night, a possible cause of TMJ disorder.”