Looking for a “TMJ specialist near me” or a TMJ Doctor? At the most basic level, treatment for TMJ disorder involves conservative pain control methods, such as ice or heat, to reduce pain and swelling or anti-inflammatory drugs to calm the irritation. You may also be able to manage your symptoms by modifying your behavior to avoid extreme jaw movements or putting pressure on the TMJ. These may include learning relaxation techniques to relieve tension and eating soft foods.
If these methods don’t work, there are several dental/orthodontic treatment options a TMJ doctor or TMJ specialist can recommend that may be effective. A bite problem may be the source of your symptoms, and using bridges, crowns, or other restorative dental work to correct this may help relieve them. A night guard or splint that prevents you from grinding your teeth together may also be effective.
Other treatment options include injections of anesthesia or pain medication directly to trigger points of the face. Trigger points are muscles that are particularly tender. Additional possible treatments include ultrasound, laser therapy, radio wave therapy, or a TENS unit, which stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. If all else fails and you have received no relief, surgery may be required as a last resort.
Recognizing and Treating TMJ Disorder
Place your hand along the side of your face, with the tips of your fingers in front of your ear. Now open and close your mouth. You should feel movement under your fingers. That’s your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, the place where your jawbone connects to your skull. For reasons that are not always clear, sometimes the soft tissues within the joint become irritated, strained, or inflamed. This can result in pain and joint dysfunction that is known collectively as TMJ disorder. Sometimes these symptoms are temporary and go away on their own. If they do not, however, it may be a good idea to see a TMJ doctor at Summit OMS.
It is not always possible to diagnose the reason behind symptoms at the TMJ. Sometimes symptoms just occur inexplicably. However, certain factors may put those searching for a “TMJ specialist near me” at greater risk for TMJ disorder. Chronic medical conditions, such as connective tissue diseases or arthritis, may predispose you to develop symptoms. Persistent habits, such as clenching or grinding your teeth, or a traumatic injury to the jaw could also result in the disorder.
While TMJ doctors do not always know what precipitates symptoms of the disorder, they can sometimes determine which structures in the TMJ are causing the problem. Soft tissues are usually the culprit. These include ligaments that connect the bones together, tendons that bind muscles to bones and allow your jaw to move, and a disk of cartilage between the bones that works as a shock absorber. Symptoms of TMJ disorder can arise when the ligaments become stretched out of position, the tendons become irritated from tension or overuse, or the disk shifts out of alignment or erodes away.
While symptoms can vary somewhat, TMJ disorder is usually characterized by a lack of function in the joint, combined with pain. The following areas may become tender and painful as a result of TMJ disorder:
- Either or both of the temporomandibular joints
- Your ear
- The muscles of your face
- Your jawbone
These areas can also become swollen due to TMJ disorder. You can also experience headaches, toothaches, ringing in the ears, or dizziness. Pain may even be referred to your shoulders or neck, making it more difficult to identify the temporomandibular joint as the source.
You may also experience decreased function of the TMJ. The joint(s) may lock up, making closing or opening your mouth difficult. Attempts to chew your food may be painful or become harder to accomplish. You may hear unusual sounds when you try to move your jaw, such as grating, clicking, or popping.
If you’re experiencing dysfunction, swelling, or pain in the area of the temporomandibular joint, you may be wondering, “Where is the nearest TMJ specialist near me?” Summit OMS is your solution. You can contact a TMJ doctor at Summit OMS through our convenient form to schedule an appointment. We have locations in Warren, Grosse Pointe, Rochester Hills, Clinton Township and Romeo / Washington, Michigan.