The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) refers to an intricate and complex area of your face where the jaw meets the skull. Wherever bone meets with bone in a joint that moves regularly, there can be a myriad of problems including painful movement, inflammation or swelling. Many people have suffered from TMJ pain for years and believed, or were told, that there is nothing they can do about it. Thankfully, advances in medical and dental technology have come a long way. There are now a variety of things dentists and doctors can do to help relieve TMJ inflammation and pain.
There are a number of causes of TMJ pain and most patients have one or more contributing factors. Men and women that consciously or unconsciously grind their teeth and jaw often end up with sore muscles in their face when they wake up from sleeping or experience a lot of stress. Damaged jaws can also be due to trauma or dislocation. No matter what the inherent cause may be, the result is usually a painful jaw that clicks with a misaligned bite or makes a grating noise when you attempt to open or close your mouth.
Dr. Grabiak is able to utilize various treatment options to alleviate TMJ pain and dysfunction. The first step is to ensure the restriction of movement, grating, pain, inflammation, or other problem is actually coming from the TMJ and not another area of the face. Once this diagnosis has been confirmed, there are a number of things you can do to help ease the pain. Resting and exercising your jaw muscles may sound contradictory, but are equally important. You may want to talk less and eat solid foods. Ice, heat, anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, and steroids can all help alleviate TMJ pain. You may decide to wear a nightguard on your teeth while you sleep to keep the jaw in an open and relaxed position and help prevent you from grinding your teeth together.
There are a variety of other appliance and tools that can be used to realign, stabilize, and reposition the TMJ to alleviate pain and encourage a more normal range of movement. Contact Dr. Grabiak and his team of friendly professionals to discover how he can help your TMJ disorder.