An estimated 22 million Americans have sleep apnea, and well over half of individuals with obstructive sleep apnea have a moderate to severe case. A general dentist studies and understands why sleep apnea occurs and can effectively treat it with oral appliances and other treatment methods. Many do not know whom to visit when sleep apnea…
Common Treatment Options for TMJ Disorder
The TMJ joints allow people to open, close and move their jaws. Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jawbone to your skull. This joint is found on each side of the jaw. TMJ disorders usually cause a lot of problems. These can include pain in the jaw joint and in the muscles that control the movement of the jaw.
Treatment of TMJ disorders
It is not uncommon for the symptoms of TMJ disorders to go away on their own. But if the symptoms persist, seeking medical care is always a good idea. A dentist can recommend different treatment options depending on a patient’s condition. Here are some common treatment options for TMJ disorders.
Along with other nonsurgical treatment options, there is a variety of medication options that can ease the pain associated with the disorders. Over-the-counter medications often help people. Sometimes, though, the medications may not be able to ease the pain on their own. If this is the case, the dentist may prescribe stronger pain relievers for a short duration. The dentist may also suggest tricyclic antidepressants, in low doses, for pain relief. For TMJ disorders that are caused by muscle spasms, patients can use muscle relaxants for a couple of days or a few weeks to find pain relief.
Many people have been able to benefit from using oral appliances. A stabilization splint is a plastic guard that is designed to fit over either the lower or upper teeth. Over the years, stabilization splints have been used to treat TMJ disorders. The splints are ideal for short-term use and are not supposed to cause permanent changes in the bite. If a stabilization splint affects the bite or increases or causes pain, the patient must stop using it and see a dentist.
Surgery and other procedures
A dentist may recommend surgery when other treatment options have not been effective. Some common procedures include arthrocentesis and open-joint surgery. Arthrocentesis is a procedure that involves inserting tiny needles into the joint. This allows fluid to be irrigated through the joint to help remove debris and inflammatory products.
Open-joint surgery is often suggested when more conservative treatments do not help. The surgery can replace or repair the joint. But patients should know that it involves more risks compared to other procedures. Patients should only consider surgery after learning about the pros and cons.
Schedule an appointment with your dentist today
If you think you have a TMJ disorder, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your dentist can talk to you about the possible causes and treatment options for your problem. These may include medications, stabilization splints and surgery. Your health care provider will suggest a suitable treatment depending on your condition and needs. You should always find out the benefits and risks and ask about all your treatment options. That way, you can make an informed decision before starting treatment.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.
Since some of the warning signs associated with oral cancer can be confused with other less serious dental problems, it is important for patients to learn more about the warning signs of oral cancer. Understanding the signs can help you determine whether or not the symptoms you are currently experiencing are indeed cancer-related. You can…
Periodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the supporting structures of teeth. Gum disease is a bacterial infection, and without periodontics treatment, it can potentially result in tooth loss because it compromises the structures supporting the teeth. Therefore, dentists usually check for early warning signals that patients may miss. Periodontal treatment may be…
Dental sealants are a popular general dentistry procedure that many individuals consider to protect their teeth. Both children and adults can benefit from sealants as there are many associated advantages. The placement is very easy and pain-free, which is advantageous for patients of all ages. This fact is a great reason to find out more…