Anyone who is suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD or TMJ) will tell you the pain extends beyond just the jaw. TMJ or lock jaw can be caused by a variety of factors, from general stress and anxiety, to a poor bite condition. Seeking TMJ treatment and getting the issue resolved before too much time passes can mean the difference in your body’s overall health.
TMJ Causes and Effects
Without TMJ treatment, you could begin to experience chronic jaw pain, recurring migraines, sore muscles around your jaw, and many more side effects throughout your body. TMJ typically results from excessive and prolonged teeth grinding and jaw clenching, often caused by anxiety, poor bite shape or crooked teeth, etc. The muscles activated in teeth grinding then become inflamed and exhausted from the added stress. Before long, you’ll start to feel the effects of your nightly teeth grinding in different parts of your body if your TMJ is not properly treated.
Seeking prompt TMJ treatment means stopping the pain at the source, which will likely require the use of a nightly mouthguard to prevent the jaw from engaging and subsequently becoming exhausted. Giving your jaw muscles a chance to relax will help with any related pain you’ve been fighting in your neck, shoulders and back, since the rest of the muscles in your body are no longer struggling to compensate for the weakness in the jaw. TMJ has also been linked to depression and anxiety, due to the chronic nature of TMJ pain and its ability to impact sleep and mood.
Available Treatments for TMJ Disorder or TMD
Your TMJ treatment plan will depend on the severity of your condition. For example, if you experience muscle spasms and general joint pain, your dentist may prescribe an anti-inflammatory, pain reliever or muscle relaxer to take the stress out of your jaw muscle and give it a chance to rest. Steroids are also an option, and they can be injected directly into the joint for instant relief.
If you’d like to avoid any invasive procedure or medication, there are options for at-home self-treatment, including meditation, holding your teeth apart as much as possible, applying ice and heat to your jaw in 15-minute increments and eating a diet of soft foods. Otherwise, there are physical therapy options to treat TMJ and manage your jaw stress, like a mouth guard. A less commonly known option for those seeking TMJ treatment is through Botox injections. Using Botox injections to treat TMJ requires an injection straight into the affected muscles to relieve tension and reduce painful side effects, and it only takes about a day or two to feel the impact for most patients.
Tired of TMJ Pain? Get the Relief You Deserve and Talk to Your Dentist About Your TMJ Treatment Options
For anyone battling pain caused by TMJ disorder, any moment free of discomfort is a sweet relief. Seeking TMJ treatment early on is the best way to avoid other problems that may arise as a result. Free yourself from shoulder pain, headaches and sore jaws, and talk to a professional today!
At Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery, our patients’ comfort is our top priority, which is why we aim to treat TMJ at the source through a variety of treatments, from physical therapy and mouth guards, to Botox injections. If you’re looking for relief from your TMJ pain, give us a call at (404) 975-2706 (Buckhead) or (404) 620-6811 (Cumming), or visit us online to schedule a consultation and find the best TMJ treatment plan for you.