Are You Suffering from Jaw Pain? TMJ Treatment and Awareness
TMJ Awareness Month 2021
What are your knowledge levels on temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD)? TMJ Awareness Month is November, so now is a great time to learn more about TMJ and how it might affect you. TMD treatment and management are available at the offices of Thomas L. Anderson, DDS and Associates in the Kansas City area in a variety of ways.
TMJ Treatment: What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a collection of muscles and nerves that connect your jaw to your skull on either side of your head. Acting like a hinge for your jaw, the TMJ allows you to freely open and close your mouth while assuring you of smooth movement in your jaw when you are eating or speaking.
There are several concerns that could lead to a dysfunctional TMJ. Sometimes they are not entirely clear, but at other times it is easy to pinpoint them after a dental exam and consultation.
One of the contributing factors to developing TMD is thought to be stress. By minimizing your stress or developing better coping strategies for it, you may be able to find relief.
Related Article: Mouthguards Provide Smile Protection for Everyone
TMJ Treatment: Signs of TMD
The several signs of a temporomandibular joint disorder are why this disorder goes undiagnosed or is misdiagnosed. During your consultation with , you’ll be able to discuss concerns. By comparing your symptoms with what the dentist can see during your exam, a diagnosis may be possible.
Some of the signs of TMJ could include the following:
- Pain felt in the TMJ or jaw muscles
- Pain inside of your ears, or around the ears
- Joint sounds such as clicking or popping
- Consistent headaches or migraines, especially in the temples
- Tenderness in the jaw
- Inability to open or close the jaw
- Discomfort when eating or speaking
- Limitations in jaw movement
- Tension in face or neck
Treatment Options for TMD
According to Dr. Anderson and his team, there are several TMD treatment options for those who have TMD. Quite often, a conservative less-is-more approach is the most effective. For TMD, this could include eating softer foods, avoiding repetitive function, such as gum chewing, biting nails, ice-chip chewing, taking over-the-counter pain medications (anti-inflammatories, analgesics, muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety drug) and modifying pain by applying heat packs and ice packs to the area that is feeling discomfort.
Practicing relaxation techniques to minimize jaw tension such as meditation or biofeedback. Also gentle massages on the jaw and the muscles in the neck can also prove to be helpful. The experts at Dr. Anderson’s offices may recommend exercises to strengthen your jaw muscles, Alter your diet to exclude excessively chewy foods. This includes chewing the sugar-free gum that you love so much. All of this excess chewing could put further strain on the TMJ.
If these easy at-home solutions are not quite as effective as you’d have hoped, Dr. Anderson and his expert team can offer a dental appliance to help provide support for the TMJ. Most often a night guard will also keep your from clenching and grinding your teeth in your sleep.
We Offer TMJ Treatment
We feel that TMJ awareness and diagnosis are important steps before treatment. Consult with us for TMJ disorders and Bruxism in the Kansas City area, to determine what type of jaw condition is causing you to suffer. Part of the dental examination includes checking the muscles and joints for clicking, popping, tenderness or difficulty moving.
It’s also important to stay up to date on your cleanings and routine visits to your dentist. In the meantime, having a strong and steady oral health routine – brushing twice a day and flossing once – is the best thing you can do for your oral health!
Do You Have Questions About Protecting Your Smile?
We can provide a thorough exam to assess the health of your smile. At Thomas L. Anderson and Associates, we can help you protect your teeth and ensure you maintain a lifetime of healthy smiles. We proudly offer our services to the Kansas City Metro and surrounding areas. Contact us today at one of our three convenient locations to schedule your dental appointment for TMJ treatment or to learn more about our other services.
Contact us today to schedule your dental appointment and meet with our skilled dentists at one of our three conveniently located dental office locations within the Kansas City area, including Lee’s Summit / Independence, the Country Club Plaza and Downtown Kansas City. The gentle dentists and expert team at Thomas L. Anderson and Associates look forward to working with you to treat your dental emergency, achieve proper oral health and a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. If you have any questions about your dental insurance benefits, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to review your policy! Please give us a call today to schedule an appointment and become part of our dental family.