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TMJ Treatment Options

TMJ Treatment Options Available In The Forms Of Medicines, Therapies And Surgery

Temporomandibular joint pain or TMJ is a muscle and joint pain which patients feel in their jaws. The cause of this pain is not known exactly, but the doctors in general agree that poor dental hygiene is one of the major factors which contribute to this ailment. It can also occur due to excessive biting of hitting of one side of the jaw. This problem can be witnessed by any person belonging to any and every age group. In most of the cases, this pain subsides on its own, and no special treatment is required for the same. However, if the pain persists, then the doctors can about any of the following TMJ treatment options;

Medications

The following medicines are generally given to the patients along with the non-surgical treatment and are basically meant for relieving the jaw pain. The medicines generally used for the treatment of TMJ include:

  • Pain Killers: Doctors generally start with mild, over the counter pain relief medicines, but if they are not able to provide enough relief, then stronger medicines may be prescribed.
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants: These medicines are originally meant for the treatment of depression, but now-a-days, they are also being used as pain killers as well.
  • Muscle Relaxants: A course of a few days or weeks may be prescribed by the doctors of this medicine to relieve the pain caused by TMJ.
  • Sedatives: The pain tends to get worse during the night time due to teeth clenching, therefore, to help the patient in relaxing and getting a good night’s sleep, the doctor can prescribe certain sedative as well.

Therapies

Besides medicines and surgical TMJ treatment options, there are certain therapies present as well, which can help in the cure of this ailment.

  • Bite Guards: Wearing of a soft or firm device over the teeth is said to be helpful for people with jaw pain, although the exact benefit of the same is not clear.
  • Physical Therapy: along with certain stretching and strengthening exercising meant for the jaws, ultrasound, moist heat and ice therapies can also be used for the treatment of TMJ.
  • Counseling: Counseling helps patients in knowing their problem and understanding the dos and don’ts, which can help in ensuring that the problem does not get aggravated.

Surgical Procedures

When all other TMJ treatment options fail, surgery is the only option left.

  • Arthrocentesis: In this procedure, needles are inserted in the jaw and fluids are irrigated so that all the debris and inflammatory products can be removed from the joint.
  • Injections: Corticosteroid and Botulinum toxin into the jaw muscles helps in relieving the pain caused by TMJ.
  • Surgery: If it is found that the problem of jaw pain is occurring due to structural problems and therefore, no other conservative approaches to the treatment will help, then the doctors would have no option but to perform a surgery and repair or replace the joint. However, doctors in general, try every means possible to avoid this option.

Depending on the stage of aggravation of the pain, any of the above treatment options can be chosen for TMJ.

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