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Can TMJ Be Cured?

February 12, 2024
Can TMJ Be Cured?

TMJ, also known as temporomandibular joint syndrome, may interfere with your quality of life. People with TMJ often complain of pain in their jaw, ear, face, and neck.

Fortunately, dentists can relieve TMJ symptoms, helping patients overcome this disruptive disorder. Some patients may experience complete symptom relief.

About the Temporomandibular Joints

The temporomandibular joints are complex sliding hinges at either side of your jaw, where the jaw meets the skull. The jaw joints contain disks that can also become dislocated, injured, or affected by arthritis.

Symptoms of TMJ

  • Pain in one or both TMJ joints
  • Pain accompanied by clicking, grating, or popping jaw
  • Facial pain
  • Pain in and around the ear
  • Jaw locking that makes opening and closing your mouth difficult

Causes of TMJ

TMJ syndrome can be confusing because it does not always have a clear cause. Some possible sources for TMJ pain include disk dislocation or misalignment, cartilage damage due to arthritis, or a traumatic injury such as a car accident or fall.

One significant risk factor for TMJ is bruxism or chronic teeth grinding. Not everyone with bruxism has TMJ, but the two conditions may be closely related.

Treatment Methods for TMJ

Supportive treatments like cool and hot compresses, over-the-counter medication, and prescription muscle relaxers may help. Dentists may also prescribe custom acrylic splints to help the jaw stay in the proper position and prevent the patient from clenching it closed. Most patients can receive significant relief from supportive and non-invasive treatments.

In extreme cases, joint surgery may be necessary to relieve symptoms. An oral or general surgeon may perform the surgery.

The Connection Between TMJ and Stress

Stress and tension can often contribute to TMJ. Patients under stress may clench their jaws more, leading to strain on the joints. The cycle continues as pain leads to more feelings of stress. Many dentists and physicians recommend secondary methods of reducing stress and tension, like meditation and yoga.

Frequently Asked Questions About TMJ

Is TMJ curable without surgery?

In many cases, yes. Only the most severe cases usually require surgery. Most patients respond well to non-invasive care, including lifestyle changes and oral appliances.

My jaw pops and clicks, but it doesn't hurt. Do I need TMJ treatment?

You do not need treatment if you do not experience pain when your joints pop and click. Some jaw sounds may be benign. However, visiting your dentist could rule out other possible causes.

Call Fallin Family Dentistry

If TMJ symptoms bother you, don't give up hope. Your family dentist may be able to help you ease your pain and restore your quality of life. Please call our Zachary, LA, office at  225-654-2212  to schedule a consultation today.

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1338 Church St
Zachary, LA 70791
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Contact our office today to schedule your appointment!

Fallin Family Dentistry
1338 Church St
Zachary, LA 70791
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