TMJ Treatment - Olney, MD
Restore Smile Functionality
with TMJ Treatments
Don’t Struggle with Jaw Pain
Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are constellations of problems involving muscles of mastication and the temporomandibular joints and associated structures. TMD is considered the most common musculoskeletal disorder that causes orofacial pain.
The exact cause of TMJ disorder can be complex. It may involve a combination of factors, including genetics, injury to the jaw or joint, teeth grinding (bruxism), clenching of the jaw, stress, arthritis, and structural issues with the joint.
TMJ disorder can lead to a range
of symptoms, which may include:
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds when moving the jaw
- Difficulty or discomfort while opening or closing the mouth
- Locking of the jaw joint
- Earaches or pain around the ears
- Pain while chewing or speaking
- Facial pain or discomfort
- Tired or sore jaw muscles
- Changes in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together (malocclusion)
Temporomandibular disorders Can Be Broadly Classified Into Two Main Categories Based On Their Etiology And Presentation
Disorders of the joint itself such as disk displacement
Musculoskeletal ( myofascial) pain disorder/syndrome.
What is Myofascial Pain Syndrome?
Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) is the primary contributor to TMJ pain and occurs when the muscles responsible for chewing become excessively fatigued due to factors like bruxism or misalignment of the teeth. These habits, such as teeth grinding (bruxism), can cause the muscles around the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) to be overused and strained, ultimately leading to feelings of pain and discomfort.
Conservative therapy is the first line
of treatment for MPS including:
Self-care and lifestyle modification by eating soft food, practicing stress reduction techniques and using combination of heat and cold pack to reduce inflammation and pain.
Over The Counter Pain Medicine
Over the Counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or Ibuprofen can be used to alleviate pain. Muscle relaxant can be prescribed to reduce muscle tension.
Oral appliances such as custom mouth guard or splints can be fabricated to reduce bruxism and provide a more balanced occlusion to relive the stress from the joint.
Physical therapy, therapeutic jaw maneuvers and massage can improve the mobility of the joint and reduce the pain and stiffness of TMJ and related musculatures.
Neurotoxin (BOTOX) Injections
Neurotoxin (BOTOX) injection to the Masseter and Temporalis muscle to partially paralyze them and reduce the force that can negatively impact the joint.
Patients who are unresponsive to conservative therapy or those who have actual joint issues may necessitate surgical intervention to address their condition.
What is Arthrocentesis?
Arthrocentesis or joint wash-out, is a simple surgery often used as the first step in treating TMJ problems. It’s done in a doctor’s office and is minimally invasive, which means it doesn’t require big cuts or a hospital stay. This procedure is helpful for people with TMJ issues where the jaw disc is out of place and causing pain with 80% success rate.
During arthrocentesis, the doctor washes out the joint to move the disc back in the right spot, get rid of inflammation and break scars, which make the joint work better by loosening up any stiff parts. While it might not work for really severe cases, it’s usually the first choice for most people whose TMJ problems don’t get better with other treatments. For more advanced cases or those cases that are unresponsive to Arthrocentesis , arthroplasty or open joint surgery will be required.
What is TMJ Arthroplasty?
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) arthroplasty is a surgical procedure used to treat severe and complex cases of TMJ disorders or abnormalities that cannot be effectively managed with more conservative treatments. This procedure involves the reconstruction, repair, or replacement of the temporomandibular joint. Here are some key points about TMJ arthroplasty:
TMJ arthroplasty is typically considered when other non-surgical treatments, such as physical therapy, medications, splints, or arthrocentesis, have not provided sufficient relief from TMJ symptoms. It may be recommended for conditions like severe joint degeneration, structural abnormalities, or failed previous TMJ surgeries.
There are several surgical approaches to TMJ arthroplasty, including:
Total Joint Replacement: This involves removing the damaged joint components and replacing them with artificial prostheses made of materials like metal or plastic.
Reconstruction: In cases where joint damage is not severe, the surgeon may reshape or repair the existing joint structures, aiming to restore normal function.
Disc Repositioning: Sometimes, the surgery focuses on repositioning a displaced or damaged disc within the TMJ.
TMJ arthroplasty is usually performed in Hospital setting under general anesthesia.
Understanding a TMD Diagnosis
The diagnosis of TMD usually requires a comprehensive assessment conducted by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. This assessment may involve the use of CT scans or MRI scans to evaluate how the joint is structured and how it functions. If you are experiencing TMJ pain, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with us.