March 19, 2023
It’s been said that your health is your wealth. There truly is no price that can be put on having a healthy smile and living pain-free. Unfortunately, some people don’t have this luxury. It’s estimated that roughly 10 million people suffer from TMJ disorder. The pain associated with this issue can keep you from enjoying everyday pleasures, such as eating a delicious meal or having a conversation with loved ones. Fortunately, TMJ therapy can offer relief and help return you to a more comfortable smile. Read on to learn more about TMJ disorder and various treatment options.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder (TMD) is a condition that affects the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull called the temporomandibular joint. This painful disorder can be caused by various reasons, such as dental trauma, stress, teeth grinding, and arthritis. As a result of TMJ disorder, you may experience major discomfort in your jaw, as well as restricted jaw movement. These issues can make it difficult to do everyday activities like eating, speaking, and sleeping. Left untreated, TMJ disorder can grow increasingly worse and cause long-term damage to your temporomandibular joint.
How Long Will TMJ Therapy Take to Ease Symptoms?
You can generally expect to see improvements in your symptoms in a few weeks to several months, although it will vary for each person. Experiencing relief from the effects of TMJ disorder will depend on several factors, such as the severity of the disorder, the specific treatment option, and the condition of your overall physical health.
Various TMJ Therapy Treatment Options
Fortunately, there is a wide range of specialized treatments to help treat TMJ disorder. Based on the factors listed above, your dentist can recommend the specific TMJ therapy that would be best for you, such as:
- Equilibration/Occlusal Adjustments: A misaligned bite can put strain on your jaw joints and muscles, resulting in TMJ pain. Equilibration/occlusal adjustment can slightly reshape certain teeth to fix your alignment issue. Your jaw will reach its natural resting position, leading to a relief of tension and pain.
- Bite Splints and Orthotics: These oral devices can address a variety of TMJ-related problems by slightly shifting the jaw into a rest position. Since they are custom-made, they will address your specific condition. Over time, your jaw muscles and the temporomandibular joint will heal and find a better orientation.
- TENS machine treatment: The TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) machine sends gentle electric currents into your jaw muscles through small electrode patches. It has been proven to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as stimulate blood flow.
If you suffer from TMJ disorder, there is help available for you! By seeking help from your dentist with TMJ therapy, you can return to a healthy and pain-free smile.
About the Author
Dr. James Olsen keeps the smiles of Ann Arbor healthy, whole, and beautiful! He graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and has extensive advanced training in neuromuscular dentistry. By offering various TMJ therapy options, he has helped countless patients relieve their pain from TMJ issues and headache pain. To schedule a consultation, contact him through his website or call (734) 996-0200.
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