Temporomandibular Joint disorder or TMJ disorder can be a very painful condition. The joint connects your jaw to the temporal bones of the skull and helps you move your jaw smoothly when you do activities such as eating, talking and yawning. Although many contributing factors to TMJ disorder have been discovered, the exact causes behind the illness have not yet been found out. It can be caused by an accident that injured your head or diseases such as arthritis. But it may also have seemingly simple reasons such as the habit of grinding teeth.
TMJ disorder is mostly found in people aged between twenty and forty. Some of the symptoms include tenderness on the face which may have spread to your neck and shoulders, the jaw getting locked in the open or close position, sounds such as popping noises being heard when you use the joint, and swelling on the face. Some also feel difficulty in hearing or a ringing in the ears, and dizziness. Often home treatments such as cold or heat packs are suggested. Difficulties can be reduced to some extent by a change in habits, such as avoiding using chewing gums and avoiding resting your chin on your hand. Since stress can cause clenching of teeth which can aggravate the condition, therapy sessions for dealing with anxiety is often suggested.
At the Melbourne dentist Holistic Dental, we believe that surgery should be the last resort for TMJ treatment. The dentist at Collins Street is easily accessible for those working in Melbourne CBD. There are a number of reversible options in the TMJ treatment such as bite splints and physical therapy. Bite splints help the jaws relax by keeping the upper row of teeth and the lower row of teeth separate when you keep your mouth close. Often TMJ symptoms might be caused by a bite problem which can be dealt with by restorative dental treatments such as crowns or implants. In some cases medication to reduce pain and inflammation may be used. However, we do not recommend long-term use of these drugs.
Physical therapy for TMJ may involve the use of ultrasound and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) and helps relax the muscles and reduce the pain. Lifestyle counselling can be a very effective way of dealing with TMJ disorder. A surgery is irreversible and extremely complex. So it is used as a way of treating TMJ disorder only when no other solutions work for a particular patient. The Collin St dentist will inform you on all the benefits and risks of a surgery and you will be able to make an informed decision.