Treatment for Chronic Jaw Pain

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are a common cause of chronic jaw pain, impacting the quality of life for many individuals. These disorders can lead to symptoms such as teeth grinding or clenching, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, limited mobility in the jaw, clicking or popping when opening or closing the jaw, and earaches.

These uncomfortable symptoms may worsen without treatment from a dentist. So do not delay scheduling an appointment to evaluate the condition. Identifying the cause of TMJ can ensure you get the right treatment to relieve your pain. Learn more about the TMJ treatment and therapy options available at your dentist’s office when you read on.

Treatment for Chronic Jaw Pain

Understanding TMJ Disorders

The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are crucial components that connect the jawbone to the skull and allow us to chew, speak, and swallow. Located on each side of our heads, they work together with muscles and ligaments to control movements of the lower jaw.

However, any problem that prevents this complex system from functioning properly may result in a painful TMJ disorder. Potential causes include arthritis, dislocation, injury to the tooth and jaw, alignment issues, and stress-induced teeth grinding.

An important step toward treating these disorders is diagnosis. This will entail attending an evaluation at your dentist’s office, where they check joints and muscles for tenderness, difficulty moving, and clicking or popping sounds during movement.

When your dentist understands the cause of your jaw pain, they can offer an appropriate intervention. A precise diagnosis will maximize your chance of success in treating your TMJ.

Comprehensive Approach to TMJ Treatment

Dr. Natasha Radosavljevic, a dentist in Clearwater, FL, has completed advanced training in diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders through the Dawson Academy curriculum. This approach focuses on bite function solutions and resolving occlusal disease problems associated with TMJ.

Dr. Rados offers a comprehensive approach when treating complex restorative dental issues. Her patients receive an evaluation that includes an assessment of their bites. This thorough examination helps the dentist identify underlying causes of jaw pain, such as TMJ disorders.

Treatment options vary depending on the severity of a patient’s symptoms and their overall health. One method of resolving jaw pain associated with TMJ is occlusal equilibration, in which a dentist can reshape or remove teeth that impact the patient’s bite. The dentist may also recommend splint therapy, custom-made mouthguards, or orthodontics to treat TMJ.

Conservative TMJ Therapy Recommendations

The National Institute Dental Craniofacial Research recommends a conservative approach when treating TMJ disorders. This type of therapy includes eating softer foods, avoiding nail-biting and other similar habits, and practicing relaxation techniques to relieve tension in the jaw.

If these measures prove insufficient, a dentist may advise on further intervention. These methods may include exercises that strengthen jaw muscles, medications to relax muscles and reduce inflammation, or a night guard to alleviate bruxism.

In some cases, a dentist may recommend fixing an uneven bite using Invisalign or another cosmetic dental treatment. If you have severe malocclusions, the dentist may refer you to an orthodontist for more targeted solutions.