TMJ Treatment in Mandeville, LA
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. This is the main joint in the jaw and can become afflicted by a variety of disorders. Dr. Jason Alvarez can complete a TMJ evaluation to determine if you show signs of a TMJ disorder and discuss what treatment(s) may work best for you.
Suffering from jaw pain or other symptoms, or suspect TMJ disorder? Call Alvarez Dental in Mandeville, LA, to book an appointment today.
In order for the dentist to determine if a TMJ disorder is present, an examination of your jaw will be required. The dentist may ask to watch and listen to your jaw as you open and close your mouth.
After viewing the range of motion, the dentist may also need to press and feel the tissues surrounding your jaw to check for abnormalities. If the dentist suspects abnormalities but needs more information, a test might be ordered. Usually an x-ray, but sometimes a CT scan or MRI.
If TMJ disorder is confirmed, the dentist will discuss the specifics of your condition with you and go over treatment options.
Types of Treatment
Depending upon the specific symptoms and concerns surrounding your TMJ disorder diagnosis, your dentist may recommend one or multiple therapies. Multiple options are often recommended to help provide quick relief and sustained improvement of symptoms.
- Medication Therapies
In order to lessen pain and inflammation caused by TMJ disorder, your dentist may prescribe pain medication, anti-inflammatories, antidepressants (which can help in low doses with jaw clenching), or muscle relaxants to help with muscle spasms.
- Non-Medication Therapies
Non-medication therapy options are often used in conjunction with medication. The medication provides a jumpstart that therapy can build on. Therapy can involve education about factors that can aggravate TMJ disorder and behavioral changes that may be in order.
Oral splints and mouthguards are also sometimes used to alleviate TMJ discomfort by supporting proper jaw alignment. Physical therapy is also sometimes indicated to help strengthen jaw muscles.
- Surgical Options
In severe cases that have not responded to other treatment methods, surgical options are sometimes recommended.
This can involve injections of medications like Botox to help prevent muscle spasms or arthrocentesis. In this therapy, the joint is penetrated with a needle so that any irritants can be flushed away.
Surgery on the joint itself may also be required if the disorder is caused by a structural issue. Surgery can be performed arthroscopically in most cases, although open joint surgery is sometimes required.