Dentists hear many of their patients complain about jaw pain. This disorder is often referred to as TMJ syndrome. However, the medical term for jaw pain is bruxism. TMJ is an abbreviated name for the main joint of the jaw, called the temporomandibular joint. Problems with this joint can cause severe pain. Most patients feel the pain when they wake up in the morning, and it tends to slowly resolve during the day. Others may have difficulty fully opening their mouth when eating or speaking. The two main types of TMJ treatment in Lawrence KS include a conservative approach and a surgical one. The type of TMJ pain your are experiencing will determine the treatment you need.
For those who typically only experience pain and reduced jaw movement, muscle tension is usually the culprit. The muscles that connect to the jaw become inflamed, resulting in painful muscle spasms. In this instance, the dentist will probably recommend taking over-the-counter pain reducers to help with the pain. They may also suggest placing a warm compress on the jaw to reduce pain. Ice is also helpful in reducing inflammation. Other conservative treatments include massage and meditation. Almost all patients will be asked to wear a mouth guard at night to reduce tooth grinding, which can trigger TMJ pain.
If the pain is caused by an actual deformity of the jaw joint, surgery is usually the best TMJ Treatment in Lawrence KS. This type of TMJ pain is caused when the cartilage disc between the bones of the jaw becomes misshaped or slips out of place. The goal of surgery is to trim any part of the disc that is irritating the jaw. This type of surgery is usually done with only a small incision. If the jaw has been broken or severely injured, open jaw surgery to replace the entire joint may be recommended.
The pain of TMJ is often too much to bear. Luckily, there are both conservative and surgical treatments available to to treat this painful syndrome. Visit Thedentistsinlawrence.com to schedule an appointment with a local dentist that can diagnose and treat the source of your jaw pain. While no two cases of TMJ syndrome are the same, they are all treatable.