TMJ Syndrome Treatment in Fullerton, CA
What is TMJ Syndrome?
TMJ syndrome is a type of temporomandibular disorder or TMD, that can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement.
TMJ dysfunction occurs when the muscles and ligaments around your jaw joints become inflamed or irritated. The highly trained head and neck surgeons at Greater Orange County Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery have extensive experience diagnosing and treating TMJ syndrome. Call (714) 447-4100 to request an appointment at our ENT office in Fullerton, CA.
More about TMJ
TMJ is an acronym that stands for temporomandibular joint.
It is pronounced (tem-puh-roe-man-DIB-u-lur) joint and connects your jawbone to your skull. You have one joint on each side of your jaw. It acts like a sliding hinge and helps with movements like chewing and speaking.
Symptoms of TMJ Syndrome
TNJ Syndrome is a condition that may be acute or chronic, and the resulting pain may be mild or severe.
You may experience TMJ pain due to:
- Improper bite
- Jaw injury
- Clenching teeth
- Grinding teeth
You may also experience:
- Jaw tenderness
- Facial pain
- A locking sensation
- Difficulty chewing
- Swelling on the side of your face
- Tooth pain
Treatment Options for TMJ Syndrome
If you suffer from TMJ syndrome, it may be temporary. There is a chance it can be relieved with self-managed care or nonsurgical treatments. Talk with your doctor for suggestions to relieve your pain.
However, if you have a chronic level of pain and do not see any improvement, you may be a candidate for more permanent measures like surgery.
Some non-invasive treatment options include:
- Apply moist heat or cold packs to reduce pain
- Eat soft foods to give your jaw a rest
- Take aspirin or ibuprofen to help relieve pain or swelling
- Talk to your dentist about a night guard mouthpiece to help support your bite and put your jaw in a better position overnight
- Splints are another oral appliance option for full-time ware
- Acupuncture to help stimulate natural healing and address pain points
If you are still experiencing TMJ pain you may consider:
- Undergo corrective dental treatments to bring your bite to proper balance and alignment
- Therapy to help reduce pain and relax your jaw and facial muscles is called Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
- Ultrasound is a deep heat treatment to relieve soreness and improve joint movement
- Trigger-point injections with pain medication to provide relief
- Radio wave therapy to increase blood flow
- Botulinum Toxin (Botox) injections to reduce muscle mass and inflammation
- Biofeedback uses electronic instruments to detect areas of stress and tightness in your body
Some surgical treatment options for TMJ disorders include:
- Arthrocentesis – for those who have their jaw suddenly lock when in a closed position, this surgery can help flush out the joint, remove scar tissue, and reduce inflammation
- Arthroscopy – through a small incision in front of the ear the surgeon uses a lens instrument and a light to remove inflamed tissue or realign the disc or jaw with less scarring and less discomfort
- Open-joint surgery – a traditional procedure used if there are tumors, wear to bony structures, severe scarring or bone chips, that result in longer recovery
Your provider will help you evaluate your needs and recommend the treatment option or surgery that is right for you.
When Should I Seek Help for TMJ Pain?
There are many providers that can help you get relief from your TMJ issues. If you have jaw pain or difficulty opening your mouth, you may need to seek help. The clicking or popping of the jaw can result in more serious issues later on. Similarly, if you grind or clench your teeth, this can lead to TMJ syndrome.
In some cases, TMJ pain can resolve on its own when stressful life events resolve or if you address the underlying cause of the issue.
However, in some situations, TMJ pain is due to structural issues with the jaw and teeth and you may need to seek treatment.
Your doctor, your dentist, or a TMJ specialist can discuss possible causes and treatments for your problem.