Treatment for TMJ Pain
Are you one of the many TMJ sufferers? If you are affected by Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, you know how the pain and discomfort can affect your sleeping habits and quality of life. The Temporomandibular, or jaw, joint connects the lower jaw bone to the skull. TMJ disorder is often associated with jaw clicking, locking or clenching, and can cause long-term tooth damage and bone loss.
TMJ often causes severe pain and discomfort. It can be temporary or last many years. It might affect one or both sides of your face. More women than men have it, and it’s most common among people between the ages of 20 and 40. Generally, patients seek out a TMJ diagnosis after unsuccessfully seeking treatment for chronic headaches. Jaw and sinus pain may be widespread, which makes pinpointing the affected area difficult. A specialist can properly diagnose your specific TMJ issues and recommend an effective course of action.
Common symptoms include:
- Jaw and facial pain
- Neck Pain
- Problems when you try to open your mouth wide
- Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open- or closed-mouth position
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth or chew. This may or may not be painful.
- A tired feeling in your face
- Chewing Difficulties or a sudden uncomfortable bite — as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
- Swelling on the side of your face
Local Treatment for TMJ Pain Gainesville, VA
As an award winning, licensed Dentist in Gainesville, VA we work with our patients so they can achieve and maintain optimal oral health. We take the time with our patients to explain their treatment options and inform them of additional preventative care. We feel this will lead to a more trusting doctor/patient relationship and, for many people, relieve the stress about seeing a dentist.
Before a dental visit the following should be considered:
- If this is your first visit to our office? To help familiarize yourself please review our website, speak with the receptionist, and consider scheduling consultation with Dr. Bae and our team before you schedule an appointment. This consultation will serve many purposes including developing rapport and open communication with our team about your oral disability. It is also an opportunity to discuss our treatment plan with you and the types of procedures you can expect during your future visits. By knowing what is expected, you will feel better prepared and relaxed during your appointments.
- Be sure to discuss the appointment length with us. Depending on preference, appointments may be long or short. Some patients prefer longer appointments to get everything done during one appointment; others prefer shorter and multiple appointments which may be important for people with TMJ.
- Contact your insurance company to determine coverage for dental services.
- Consider scheduling your visit at the end of the day to allow rest after the appointment.
- Use heat and/or ice before your dental treatment to help reduce any pain or swelling. Dr. Bae may prescribe medications to use prior to or following the dental visit.
- Medications to relieve inflammation, muscle spasm and pain can be taken before your dental appointment. These can range from over-the-counter analgesics to prescription pain medications or muscle relaxants. Caution: If you do use medication, consider having someone drive you to the appointment. Also discuss any medications you take with your primary care physician to be certain they don’t interact with any other medication you may be taking for your dental visit. Finally, these medications may block the pain thus decreasing your ability to protect your TM joint during the dental visit.
- If you are usually anxious before your dental appointments, talk with us about sedition options.
- If you have a heart condition or a prosthetic joint (including TMJ implants), it’s best to consult with your physician and dentist to determine if antibiotic premedication is necessary for you. For some conditions, medication taken prior to dental treatment may reduce the risk of infection and serious complications.
- Let us know if you are anticipating surgery for a joint replacement. All needed dental work such as extractions or periodontal treatment should be completed in advance of your surgery.
If you’ve tried orthodontics for the issues above without success, orthognathic surgery might be required to allow your jaw to align properly. GDA can provide treatment for these disorders. If you experience any of the above symptoms, schedule an evaluation to confirm a diagnosis. Dr. Bae will determine a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.