Do you experience constant clicking, locking and popping of your jaw? How about painful chewing, headache, earache or discomfort around your temple area? If your answer is yes to these questions โ€“ you might be suffering from TMJ disorders.

Tmj Treatment in Calgary

TMJ or temporomandibular joint attaches your jawbone (mandible) to your skull (temporal bone). This joint is located on each side of your jaw just right in front of your ears. TMJ disorders are a pain, literally! TMJ can cause pain, particularly, the muscles that control your jaw movement.

Causes

It is difficult to distinguish what may have cause a person to suffer from TMJ disorders. There are several factors at play such as genetics, arthritis, stress or even jaw injury. Underlying medical condition like certain connective tissue diseases could also account for this disorder. Habitual clenching or grinding could also be blamed for this, but not everyone who clenches and grinds their teeth develop such disorders.

Cartilage and small shock-absorbing disks surrounds the parts of the bones that interact in the joint. Their purpose is to keep the movement as smooth as possible. Painful TMJ can occur if:

  • The little disk gets worn down or misaligned
  • Inflammation impairs the cartilage
  • Sudden, sharp, or heavy impact damages the joint

Nevertheless, what causes TMJ disorders in most cases are uncertain.

What should I expect when I book for a TMJ Disorder Consultation?

Your doctor or dentist may discuss your symptoms and examine your jaw before officially diagnosing you with TMJ disorders. Your medical care providers will most likely listen, feel, and observe the range of motion of your jaw when you open and close your mouth. They may also apply pressure on various areas around your jaw to identity sites of pain and discomfort. X-Rays & CT/MRI scans could also help to properly diagnose TMJ disorders by providing detailed images and reveal problems pertaining to the jointโ€™s disks or surrounding soft tissue.

How is TMJ Disorder treated?

Painful symptoms of TMJ disorders may go away on its own, however, if symptoms persist please see a doctor. You may take over the counter pain medications but if these are not enough your doctor can prescribe you stronger pain reliever, anti-inflammatories, low dose tricyclic antidepressants, or muscle relaxants to ease discomfort.

Other than oral medication, you could also benefit from the following:

  • Mouth Guards: although it is not well-understood why wearing a soft or firm device inserted over your teeth soothes jaw pain, in most cases it works!
  • Physical Therapy: certain exercises will stretch and strengthen jaw muscles
  • Arthrocentesis: small needles are used to irrigate debris and inflammatory by-products
  • Injections: corticosteroid injections help relieve pain
  • TMJ Treatment or TMJ arthroscopic surgery (a.k.a. keyhole surgery): small thin tube is placed into the joint space to either remove scar tissue, reshape parts of jawbone, reposition disc and tighten the joint to limit it from moving
  • Modified condylotomy: addresses the jawbone instead of the joint; best suited if patients experience jaw locking
  • Open-joint surgery: if TMJ symptoms are caused by structural problem; the most sophisticated surgical treatment for TMJ disorders but involves many risks compared to other treatments. Patients must carefully discuss pros and cons with dentists/doctors.
  • Acupuncture: hair thin needles pinned on specific locations of the body
  • Relaxation Techniques: consciously taking a deep breath in and out can help relax tense muscles

Tips to Help Reduce TMJ Disorder symptoms:

  • Eat softer foods and make sure you cut your food into small pieces. Avoid chewy foods.
  • Massage the area in pain. (Ask your medical care providers about the best home exercises for your jaw).
  • Use an ice pack or heat-pack to ease the pain.
  • Book an appointment with our Calgary Dentists for your TMJ Treatment! Clicking, popping and locking should be for your dance moves, not your jaw. ๐Ÿ˜Š Keep scrolling this page to request an appointment, now. We will see you soon!

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