New York, NY
Your mouth should not sound like the 4th of July fireworks every time you open and close your mouth, but for the millions of people who are suffering from TMJ disorders, that may be their reality daily. TMJ disorders affect over 7 percent of all Americans and can be caused by a wide assortment of triggers. If left untreated, it can lead to pain and discomfort in the patient. We here at Manhattan Maxillofacial Surgery Group have the skill and expertise to help not only diagnose but also treat, our patients with TMJ to help them get lasting relief from their condition.
Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction
TMJ disorder can be quite painful. Indications that a patient may be suffering from it can include a myriad of symptoms. Popping and clicking in the jaw can be a major clue that someone may have it. There could be pain and tenderness in the jaw. An unexplained and persistent headache or earache can also point to TMJ disorder. Discomfort when eating and chewing may also be a sign of TMJ disorder. A jaw that locks can also indicate TMJ disorder is present.
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
Many different things can lead to TMJ disorder. If the joint becomes misaligned, that can lead to TMJ problems. Injury or trauma to the site can also lead to it, as can arthritis. Certain patients may be at elevated risk of developing TMJ problems. This includes people who grind their teeth (known as “bruxism”) and people who have “Type A” personalities. Those who are under a great amount of stress may have a greater risk of developing TMJ disorder.
Treatment for TMJ Disorders
The treatment for TMJ disorder can vary from patient to patient and may depend on the severity and the cause of the disorder. For some patients, lifestyle changes may be adequate. This can include stress management skills or cessation of chewing gum. Counseling may also prove beneficial to them. Pain management may also be an option, too.
Medication can help some patients. Tricyclic antidepressants can be beneficial, as can muscle relaxants. Anti-inflammatory medicine can help with the discomfort associated with it. If medicine is not an option, then other treatment options can help the patient. For instance, if a person grinds their teeth at night, a nighttime mouthguard or a splint may be beneficial. Physical therapy can also help.
In more severe cases, especially those that are resistant to other forms of treatment, surgical intervention may be needed. Botox can help some patients. More intensive surgery may be necessary, however. This can be determined based on the needs of the patient.
Patients who suffer from TMJ disorders can have a poorer quality of life than those who do not have this common condition. Treatment is necessary to help them finally feel better when struggling with TMJ. If you would like to learn more about TMJ disorders, or you would like to set up an appointment with us here at Manhattan Maxillofacial Surgery Group, please give us a call today!