Best TMJ Doctors Questions and Answers
Discover how to relieve the pain and discomfort of your TMJ with our TMJ doctors. Request an appointment at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders online or call our clinic today for more information. We serve patients from all over the USA. Locations in Bloomington IL, Peoria – Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Columbia MO, Kansas City MO, Albuquerque NM, Brewster NY, El Paso TX, and Wausau WI.
The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, connects the jawbone to the skull, with one located on each side of the jaw. When this joint is experiencing problems, it is known as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). Many doctors can treat TMD, with some of the most qualified professionals being dentists, as they are experts in the teeth and jaw.
Is TMJ a medical or dental problem?
TMJ disorders are a medical condition that are commonly treated by dentists. As dentists are the most qualified medical professionals to treat TMJ disorders, they may also be considered a dental problem.
Can TMJ be cured permanently?
TMJ is a reversible condition, and with proper treatment, TMJ pain may be able to be cured permanently. In addition to following the appropriate treatment plan, lifestyle changes must be implemented, such as the cessation of anything that puts pressure on the joint, like any habits of teeth grinding or clenching.
What are the best treatments for TMJ?
Many symptoms of TMJ disorders can respond well to several different forms of treatment. A doctor may recommend one of these remedies to provide relief:
- Applying ice to the area of the joint
- Taking over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Eating soft foods and avoiding chewing gum
- Gentle massaging or self-stretching of the neck and jaw muscles
- Relaxation techniques and stress management and reduction
If home remedies fail to provide relief, medical treatment options may be necessary. While some of these types of treatments and remedies will not cure TMJ disorders, they can provide temporary and even long-term relief from the pain symptoms. These most common treatments include the following:
Oral Appliances — These are custom-made dental appliances used to promote airflow. They work by holding the jaws in place, allowing air to pass through the mouth and throat more easily. As everyone has a unique dental profile, each oral appliance is custom-fitted to sit securely in the mouth. This also helps to keep the teeth in alignment and prevents teeth from grinding. These devices resemble a mouth guard and are usually prescribed and fitted by a dentist.
In severe cases of TMJ disorders, dental surgery may be necessary. This includes:
TMJ Arthroscopy — A TMJ arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that is typically performed in an outpatient setting. The recovery time for this procedure is about a week, although complex cases may increase the time of recovery.
Jaw Advancement Surgery — A jaw advancement surgery, also known as maxillomandibular advancement surgery (MMA), is a surgical procedure that moves either the upper or lower jaw (or both) forward. Due to its high success rate, it is one of the most effective treatments for obstructive sleep apnea. Since the jaw bones have to heal in their new position, recovery times can take much longer, with initial healing taking about six weeks, and complete healing taking as long as 12 weeks.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a TMJ disorder, come to Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders for treatment today! Our kind and compassionate professionals are committed to providing a higher level of care and can provide you with relief for your symptoms. Our clinic specializes in treating TMJ disorders and are experienced in both simple and complex conditions. We serve patients from all over the United States with offices located in Bloomington IL, Peoria IL, Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Columbia MO, Kansas City MO, Brewster NY, El Paso TX, Albuquerque NM, and Wausau WI. We look forward to serving you!