TMJ Treatment in Prairieville, LA
The TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint, can be the source of multiple symptoms ranging from slight jaw discomfort to severe pain and migraine headaches. When healthy and properly functioning, the joint acts as a buffer and barrier between the upper and lower jaws during function. Unfortunately, more than one third of people today grind their teeth (usually in their sleep), which increases the chances of suffering from a TMD (temporomandibular disorder).
What causes TMD (TMJ Disorder)?
TMJ disorders can be caused by a myriad of sources. Some of the most common causes of TMJ problems are elevated stress levels, trauma such as an auto accident or sports injury, extended poor sleep quality, or a change in your bite.
Any one of these things can initiate symptoms or can cause an increase in tooth grinding, called bruxism, which can cause structural damage to the teeth and joints over time. Females are also far more likely to suffer from a TMD, as hormones are known to sometimes be a source of TMJ related migraines.
The source of pain in a TMJ disorder is from the highly innervated and vascular beds on either side or the TMJ that can become impinged and damaged when the joint does not function properly and is pulled to far forward or backward. TMD can cause symptoms ranging from clicking and popping of the joint to severe pain in the ear, jaw, temple, neck, or back. TMJ problems can even cause debilitating migraine headaches.
What’s Involved in Treatment of Temporomandibular Disorder?
Before any treatment is recommended, a compete TMJ exam is done to determine what is the cause of your particular problem. TMD can be caused by muscular, joint, or physical deformity issues, so it’s important to know the source of the problem.
Often, treatment consists of more than one type of treatment so that the cycle of pain can be stopped. This treatment may consist of splint therapy, physical or massage therapy, home treatment exercises, as well as alterations in diet type. Sometimes dental treatment is necessary in order to correct an unstable bite, or to restore worn teeth and reestablish guidance. In some cases, anti-inflammatory medication or muscle relaxers may be prescribed.