Article provided by: Cox Family Dentistry and Orthodontics
TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, affects almost 10 million people in the US. In some cases, it will go away on its own with minimal treatment, but in severe cases, it will require invasive treatment. If you’re looking for TMJ treatment in Fredericksburg, our Cox Family Dentistry will be happy to help.
What is TMJ?
TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint, and the term refers to a collection of health issues that involve the lower jaw, its joints, and associated muscles. The temporomandibular joint connects your lower jaw to the skull’s temporal bones (adjacent to the ears) and controls the jaw’s vertical and side-to-side movements.
Although you most often hear it as TMJ (temporomandibular joint), the condition is called TMD (temporomandibular disorder). The issues affecting this joint can range from mild to severe and can be treated at home or need invasive surgery depending on the severity of the problem.
TMD refers to issues affecting the TMJ such as the displaced jaw, pain in the jaw muscles, or arthritis of the joint.
How is TMD treated?
The treatment for TMD will depend on the type and severity of the condition. If the case is mild, the treatment will mostly consist of non-invasive procedures. These include: placing ice packs at the jaw, stretching exercises for the jaw muscles, changing the diet to include softer foods, etc.
However, if non-invasive methods don’t work, and the case is severe, you will need invasive TMD treatment. If you’re looking for TMJ treatment in Fredericksburg, our dental practice is fully equipped to treat your case.
Invasive TMD treatment includes surgical procedures like TMJ arthroscopy, open-joint surgery, or other minimally invasive methods like Arthrocentesis.
What are the types of TMD?
TMD refers to a series of conditions affecting the TMJ, each with different causes. You can have more than one type of TMD at a time. The categories of TMD are:
- Myofascial Pain Dysfunction- This is the most commonly reported type of TMD and refers to pain in the lower jaw joint and associated muscles in the cheek and neck.
- Arthritic TMJ- As with most forms of arthritis, this condition occurs when the TMJ suffers from inflammation, resulting in pain in the joint and muscles.
- Internal TMJ disorder- This is the most severe type of TMD which will likely need invasive TMJ treatment. It refers to conditions where severe trauma has displaced the lower jaw.
The general symptoms for TMD include pain in the lower jaw joint, neck, or shoulders. Others include popping or locking of the jaw, difficulty in moving the jaw, causing difficulties in breathing or eating.
Patients also report headaches, toothaches, swelling, and overall feeling of pain in the face and muscles near the TMJ.
If you are suffering from pain in the lower jaw or you experience discomfort in eating and moving your jaw, it could be due to TMD. At Cox Family Dentistry, we are equipped to provide TMJ treatment in Fredericksburg.TMJ Treatment Fredericksburg
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