TMJ disorder can really wreak havoc on your life. It can cause jaw pain, ear pain, headaches, and multiple other symptoms. You may not have gotten adequate treatment for it in the past. But there’s effective treatment available to you now.
If you have TMJ disorder, you may wonder if you can actually get relief. The good news is that you can! Dr. Joseph Z. Yousefian of Yousefian Orthodontics for Children, Teens and Adults in Bellevue, Washington, explains more about the treatment options for your TMJ disorder.
What causes TMJ disorder?
The exact cause of TMJ disorder is unknown. The temporomandibular joint, abbreviated as TMJ, acts like a hinge attached to your jaw. 12% of American adults have this disorder, although more women than men are affected.
Some of the possible causes of TMJ disorder include:
- Trauma or injury
- Clenching or grinding your teeth while you sleep
- Autoimmune disorders
- A history of dental surgery, including wearing braces
Other things can cause TMJ disorders, including genetic, hormonal, or environmental factors. Some have found a higher rate of TMJ disorders among violinists, because their work requires holding an instrument under their chin, which puts pressure on the jaw muscles.
The symptoms of TMJ disorder
If you have TMJ disorder, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Popping or clicking sounds in the jaw
- Limited jaw motion
- Inability to open your jaw wide
- Aching in the face or jaw
- Difficulty or pain with chewing
- Locking or sticking of the jaw
You don’t have to experience all of these symptoms to have a diagnosable TMJ disorder.
Conservative treatments for TMJ disorder
Some of the more conservative treatments for TMJ disorder can be done at home. These include the following:
- Avoiding chewing gum
- Eating only soft foods
- Avoiding clenching or tensing your jaw
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®)
- Applying ice packs or heat to your jaw
- Doing gentle massages of your jaw
- Doing exercises to stretch your jaw muscles
If these treatments don’t work, we have more things that we can do to alleviate the problem.
Orthodontic treatments for TMJ disorder
If you’ve tried these more conservative treatments for TMJ and haven’t gotten relief, Dr. Yousefian has more suggestions that you can try.
These include the following.
Botox is a purified form of the onabotulinum toxin. When this toxin is injected in very tiny amounts into your jaw muscles, it allows them to relax. This can alleviate the pain that you normally experience with TMJ disorder.
Platelet-rich plasma, also known as PRP, is a newer medical technology that is proving to have many uses — including for TMJ. It essentially helps your body to heal itself.
The PRP process begins with a regular blood draw. Then, your blood is put into a machine called a centrifuge, which separates its elements and creates a concentrated form.
The concentrated form of your blood is extra rich in platelets, which are injected into the muscles of your jaw. Platelet-rich plasma delivers targeted healing to the parts of your body where it is injected.
If you are dealing with TMJ disorder, you don’t have to suffer anymore. Call Dr. Joseph Z. Yousefian at Yousefian Orthodontics for Children, Teens and Adults today or request an appointment online.