Are you experiencing considerable pain in your jaw and neck area? Do you hear a popping or a clicking noise every time you close or open your mouth? Do you observe yourself being unable to move your jaw in a range of motions like other people? If you answered ‘yes’ to one, a few, or all of these questions then chances are you have TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder. There are more than 10 million people in the U.S. that are suffering from TMJ, and the majority of them have sought out treatment options that will help them deal with the pain associated with it. Here are some of them.
There are several medications that can help in relieving the pain that comes with TMJ disorders:
- Over the counter pain relievers (or something stronger, if it is not enough to relieve the pain)
- Tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline, which provides pain relief
- Sedatives for nighttime teeth clenching, like clonazepam
- Muscle relaxants used for several days or a few weeks to help combat pain
TMJ disorders may also be treated in the nonpharmaceutical way, such as:
- Physical therapy – includes moist heat, ultrasound, and ice. This is also coupled with exercises designed to strengthen and stretch the muscles along the jaw
- Bite guards – a device inserted over your teeth to serve as oral splints, to help manage jaw pain that comes with nighttime teeth grinding
- Counseling – to help you know more about the behaviors and co-factors that amplify the pain so that you can steer clear of them.
Some kinds of TMJ may actually require surgery:
- Arthrocentesis – inserting needles into joints to remove inflammatory byproducts that cause pain
- Corticosteroid injections in jaw muscles, including botulinum toxin (Botox)
- Joint replacement or repair surgery for when more conservative treatments do not resolve the pain
Looking for a consult to determine the possibility of TMJ? Give us a call at (734) 421-2675 so we can schedule an appointment for you right away.