Temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMJ dysfunction is an extremely wide term that covers chronic and acute pain in the mastication muscles and inflammation of the TMJ. Temporomandibular joint is responsible for connecting the skull to the mandible. TMJ disorder results in impairment of function and severe pain. Though this type of disorder goes beyond the boundaries of most disciplines of health care, there are many treatment approaches for TMJ related dysfunctions. Many TMJ Mesa specialists offer a wide range of treatment options for patients suffering from this problem.
The reasons for TMJ dysfunction are different disorders that often overlap to make the situation rather difficult to diagnose and treat. Problems with the muscle and the joint itself are the most common causes for TMJ dysfunction. Most TMJ Mesa practitioners prefer conservative treatment at the beginning because many of these cases heal automatically over a period of time.
However, surgery or injections may be required in the initial stage of treatment for some patients. Your TMJ specialist may suggest you to take soft foods that require less chewing. This helps the process of healing by providing rest to your jaw. Fruit smoothies, mashed potatoes, soup, yoghurt, scrambled eggs, cottage cheese are highly recommended for TMJ disorder patients because these foods require almost no chewing.
Application of moist heats and ice packs is also a routine treatment for TMJ related problems. Application of moist heat relaxes tightened muscles responsible for causing spasms. Application of ice for approximately five minutes is another well known physical therapy regularly recommended by TMJ Mesa dentists.
Medicines like ibuprofen or aspirin are helpful in relieving swelling and muscle pain. Muscle relaxants, anti anxiety medicines, and anti depressants are also prescribed to control or reduce the severity of the symptoms. Many doctors also use Splints to prevent the two jaws of teeth from coming in contact with each other. These specifically designed devices relieve the muscles and joints to help them relax and heal.
Acupuncture, TENS, Ultrasound, and Trigger point injections are some other treatment options for patients suffering from TMJ disorder. However, these options are used only for patients who fail to respond to the basic remedies. Surgery is the last alternative for TMJ Mesa patients who have not benefited from all treatments discussed so far. Open joint therapy and Arthroscopy are the two types of surgery. Arthroscopy requires general anesthesia and a small incision for the insertion of an instrument connected to a video monitor. In Open joint surgery, the TMJ is operated directly under the vision of the surgeon without using video monitors.