Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ as it is popularly known is a term generally used for jaw joint discomfort, pain, and inflammation. It can cause extreme pain to the affected patient and can go as far as disrupting the daily life of the patient in very extreme cases. An untreated case can result in immobility of the jaw which can disrupt eating, speaking and facial movements. The symptoms of TMJ are pretty obvious. Discomfort, pain, lack of mobility in the jaw, ear pain, headaches, and swelling of the side of the face are the some of the common symptoms of TMJ.
TMJ cuts across several different medical disciplines like oral care, neurology, and general medical care. As a result, it can be difficult to pin down a specific diagnosis and patients sometimes feel they are not getting the answer or the right TMJ treatment.
There are various causes of TMJ and determining the specific cause of a particular case by the doctor requires him to uncover what is really going on. The cause of TMJ ranges from teeth grinding to dental procedures and genetics.
There are different treatments of TMJ and with the proper form of treatment; patients can get back to their normal daily life in no time. The form of treatment to be used depends on the cause of the TMJ. A serious case of TMJ resulting from a bad dental work or deterioration of the jaw bones can be treated with restorative surgery. This helps relieve the pain and correct the situation. For simple causes like teeth grinding, there are devices that will help stop the habit and restore the jaw joints to its healthy position. These devices are usually worn at night and can be very effective in treating TMJ.
The first point of call for the treatment of TMJ is pain management. This helps to reduce the extent of the pain and aids in increasing mobility while the search for the cause and treatment of the TMJ symptoms is on.
When treating TMJ on a long-term basis, the treatment of the cause with a pain management and mobility plan is employed. This might involve going under the surgical knives or other procedures depending on the results of the test done by the doctor and the dental care provider.
It is very important to notify your doctor immediately the symptoms are noticed. This helps hasten the recovery process and gets you back to your normal life very fast.