6 Questions to Ask Your TMJ Specialist & Doctor
Are You Suffering from TMJ Disorder? Please See 6 Most Common Questions You Need to Ask Your TMJ Specialist & Doctor.
When it comes to treatment for disorders of your temporomandibular joint (TMJ/TMD), you want to make sure you find a doctor who can provide you with the care and assistance you need to manage your condition and effectively reduce your symptoms. At Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, our TMJ doctors provide treatment for TMJ disorder at more than a dozen locations across the United States, allowing you and your loved ones to conveniently access the important treatments you need to reduce chronic pain and sleep better. When looking for a doctor who is going to address your TMJ, here are a few questions you should always ask.
Why should I seek treatment for my TMJ disorder?
While it may seem tempting to ignore your TMD and hope that it will resolve on its own, it is highly unlikely that your issues will dissipate without effective intervention. While it is possible that your symptoms will come and go, the structural issues that cause your symptoms will not heal on their own. You need to visit with an experienced doctor who can help you address the underlying cause of your symptoms, so you can find long-term relief that will improve your quality of life now and in the future.
How do you diagnose TMJ disorder?
A physical examination is typically the most effective way for your doctor to diagnose you with TMJ. Your physician will observe your jaw’s range of motion and feel your jaw as it opens and closes. By pressing gently on your temporomandibular joint and the surrounding areas, your doctor can identify areas of particular tenderness or pain. Digital imaging such a CT scan, x-ray, or MRI my be required to confirm your diagnosis or to further assess the severity of your condition. A dental x-ray can examine your jaw and teeth, while a CT scan can provide a more detailed picture of the bones and an MRI can reveal issues that may be present in the soft tissue.
If I don’t seek treatment for TMJ disorder, will my symptoms get worse?
If TMD is left untreated, it can lead to chronic issues that will persist throughout your life. If your TMJ disorder causes you to clench or grind your teeth, it can lead to tooth erosion and chronic migraines. You may also develop worsening issues inside the joint that could cause permanent difficulty opening and closing your mouth. By finding an experienced TMJ doctor, you will ensure that anatomic anomalies are corrected, and you can enjoy the benefits of a healthier jaw alignment and appropriate movement when talking and eating.
Will pain medication cure my TMJ disorder?
While over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers may be helpful in reducing certain symptoms associated with clenching or grinding of your teeth, they are no more than a temporary solution. Your TMJ disorder is the result of dysfunction within the hinge joint that attaches the lower part of your jaw to the upper part of your skull. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications may help reduce pain, but they will not address the functional abnormalities that are the root cause of your muscle strain, headaches, and tension.
What is the function of a transcutaneous electrical neurol stimulation (TENS) device in my TMJ treatment?
At Koala® Center of Sleep & TMJ Disorders, we can use a TENS unit to help us understand the best positioning for your jaw. The TENS will send an electrical current into the body that helps tensed muscles relax, allowing your doctor to temporarily relieve any pain or stiffness you are experiencing while also understanding the proper anatomical alignment of your jaw muscles. Once your doctor finds your jaw’s true resting position, they can suggest therapeutic devices or techniques that will improve your symptoms.
What is the most effective treatment for TMJ disorder?
At Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, our doctors are dedicated to providing personalized attention and care for patients suffering from TMJ disorder. We know that your anatomy is unique to you, and you deserve a treatment that is designed especially to address your specific needs. Our exceptional doctors and dedicated dental staff work together to create a comprehensive plan that will address all of your TMJ discomfort and symptoms. We believe that our patients can benefit greatly from neuromuscular orthotics that are designed to help their temporomandibular joint rest in an optimal position, allowing for relaxation of the jaw muscles and better alignment of the upper and lower jaw, so you can enjoy reduction of symptoms without reliance on prescription medications or surgical intervention. Each device is made to fit your mouth exactly, so they are incredibly comfortable and non-invasive.
If you are looking for an experienced doctor who can help you understand your TMJ disorder and develop an effective treatment plan for you, call Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders at (855) 977-0400 to find a location near you.