The Temporomandibular joints connect the jawbone to the skull; stress on these muscles can cause a variety of problems. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) therapy helps minimize the discomfort caused by the muscles and in some cases can eliminate it altogether. Jaw pain and headaches from TMJ disorder can be formidable. Following through with prescribed TMJ therapy is the best way to ensure successful treatment.
The first important part of TMJ therapy is proper diagnosis. People with TMJ disorder may experience jaw pain or headaches at any time. Some people only have pain when they wake up. This may be an indication that there is clenching going on during sleep. Others may have pain at certain times during the day or all day long. Consulting with your dentist and identifying the cause of the pain is a vital first step in TMJ therapy.
TREATING THE CAUSE
There are different treatments available for TMJ disorder. Correct identification of the cause of the problem dictates the type of therapy which will be used to treat the problem. Identifying the most appropriate treatment is the second important part of TMJ therapy. In some cases, treatment may be as simple as using a mouthguard at night to keep the teeth from clenching. Over the counter pain medication may be helpful for minor and intermittent cases of TMJ disorder. More extensive TMJ therapy may be called for in extreme cases of the disorder.
TMJ THERAPY AND STRESS MANAGEMENT
In many situations TMJ therapy includes relaxation methods and stress management practices. This is because stress and anxiety is often an underlying cause for TMJ disorder. Learning how to manage and reduce stress is a third part of TMJ therapy. Learning how to relax the muscles and induce a feeling of calm and peacefulness is also important in many cases. While there can be other underlying causes which your dentist may identify, when stress and anxiety are involved TMJ therapy needs to address these factors to be effective. The Smile Artisans provide excellent dental care including proper diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorder. Contact us for more information about TMJ therapy and how your quality of life can be improved.