What are the Treatment Options for TMJ?
At Koala® Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders we provide a variety of treatment options for TMJ. For more information call us at one of our clinics today or request an appointment online. We serve patients from all over the USA. Locations in Bloomington, IL, Peoria – Dunlap, IL, Lafayette, IN, Mishawaka, IN, Columbia, MO, Kansas City, MO, El Paso, TX, and Wausau, WI.
The temporomandibular joint often abbreviated as TMJ, refers to the two joints that connect the jaw (mandible) to the skull. These joints are incredibly powerful and have a crushing force of over 200 pounds per square inch (PSI). This makes it one of the strongest joints in the human body and is evident every time we bite into hard food with ease. Because of the joint’s complexity, it can be subjected to wear and tear as well as injury, which can cause pain, crepitus (grating or clicking sounds), and a limited range of motion.
Do I need to get surgery for TMJ?
There are a variety of available treatments designed to relieve common symptoms of TMJ disorders, including oral appliances, physical therapy, orthodontic treatments, and custom-fitted orthotics. When these treatments fail to provide relief, surgery may be needed to remedy TMJ symptoms. If TMD symptoms are interfering with day-to-day activities and personal wellbeing, surgical treatments should be discussed with a dentist or oral surgeon. Surgery may also be recommended if the jaw joint is subjected to degeneration either due to trauma, osteoarthritis, or a genetic disorder. Thankfully, surgical TMJ treatments have a very high success rate and have helped countless people improve the form and function of their jaws.
What happens if you don’t get TMJ surgery?
If a TMJ disorder is left untreated, it can result in many unpleasant symptoms which may worsen over time. These include:
Insomnia and Sleep Disturbances — While TMJ is not considered a life-threatening condition, the discomfort of the teeth and jaw muscles can interfere with normal sleeping patterns. During sleep, subconsciously clenching and grinding teeth is a common occurrence, especially when having intense or frightening dreams. When this occurs, the pain can jolt the body awake and lead to a lack of sleep.
Jaw Complications and Tinnitus — Untreated TMJ can lead to worse dental complexities as well as tinnitus, which is an incessant ringing in the ears. Common symptoms associated with tinnitus and other jaw problems include recurrent dizziness and vertigo.
Lockjaw — One of the major jaw problems associated with the temporomandibular joints is lockjaw. It is painful, uncomfortable, can affect appetite, and may result in the jaw becoming stuck open or closed.
Cartilage Damage — In moderate to severe cases of TMJ, the cartilage in this sensitive joint can become damaged, resulting in unforeseen expensive healthcare visits.
Depending on genetics and medical history, TMJ complications can stretch far and wide. Fortunately, despite the intensity of the signs and symptoms, there are several therapies or treatments that can help remedy these symptoms and improve the overall quality of life.
What are the non-surgical treatments available for TMJ?
There are several nonsurgical treatment options for TMJ disorders, from at-home care to professional dental therapies. Mild to moderate symptoms of TMD often respond well to self-care techniques at home, which may include:
- Taking over-the-counter medications
- Avoiding jaw movements that stress the joints
- Improving posture
- Using ice packs or moist heat
- Practicing stress management and relaxation techniques
- Changing diet (limiting intake of hard foods)
Professional dental therapies include:
- Jaw Exercises
- Physical Therapy
At Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, we are dedicated to providing you with all of your TMJ needs. Our kind and compassionate professionals can provide a wide range of treatment options for TMJ and can help you find relief. Call us today to book an appointment for TMJ treatments. We look forward to serving you!