What Are the Treatment Options for TMD?
If you experience pain or discomfort in your jaw, you might be among the millions of people suffering from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders or TMD. Since these disorders affect the TMJ that connects the jawbone to the skull, they cause many symptoms, from jaw pain to neck and shoulder pain and headaches. Consequently, issues with your TMJ in Tampa, FL, may cause discomfort that can interfere with your daily activities by making talking, chewing, and even yawning painful.
Treatment Options for TMD
Doctors may prescribe pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxants to help alleviate TMD symptoms, such as jaw pain and muscle spasms. While over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce inflammation and ease discomfort, prescribed muscle relaxants help relax the muscles around the TMJ.
A physical therapist can help you perform exercises and stretches that strengthen the muscles around the jaw joint, improve jaw mobility, promote alignment, and increase your range of motion.
Practicing good posture, avoiding hard or chewy foods, and performing stress management techniques, such as meditation or yoga, can help reduce stress on the TMJ and alleviate TMD symptoms.
Some individuals find relief through alternative therapies, including chiropractic, acupuncture, or massage therapy. Although there’s limited scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of these therapies, some people find them helpful.
Bruxism involves involuntary teeth grinding or clenching due to stress and other factors. Dental health experts recommend wearing a splint or a custom-made bite guard that fits over the teeth to help reduce bruxism symptoms contributing to TMD symptoms. These dental devices also improve bite alignment while reducing stress on the TMJ.
Surgery is typically recommended in severe cases. Doctors perform arthrocentesis, a minimally invasive procedure, by flushing fluid through the TMJ to remove inflammatory byproducts and debris. Moreover, arthroscopy involves inserting a small camera into the joint to view and repair the damage. Open-joint surgery is another treatment in which the doctor fully opens the joint to perform necessary repairs.