Do you suffer from jaw or facial pain? Have you experienced mysterious aches or pains in your neck or shoulders? Maybe you’ve sought treatment for your discomfort, but the cause couldn’t be found. Or the pain went away and you didn’t think about it again until it returned. I can help you at Southwest Texas TMJ & Sleep Therapy Center.
What Are TMJ and TMD?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) functions as a hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. There is a joint on each side of your jawbone. TMD (temporomandibular joint disorders) causes pain in your TMJ and the muscles responsible for the movement of the joint.
The cause of TMD can be difficult to determine. Pain can result from many factors, such as genetics, arthritic conditions, injury, or bad habits. The pain associated with TMD is sometimes temporary and can be managed with nonsurgical treatment. Click here to take my TMD Risk Quiz.
- Clicking sound or grating sensation when opening your mouth
- Tenderness or pain in the jaw
- Pain in one or both TMJ
- Facial aches and pain
- Aching or hurting ears
- Pain when chewing or difficulty chewing
- Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
Medications Used to Treat TMD
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and pain relievers are effective for pain management. Some patients may be prescribed stronger medications for a limited time, like prescription- strength ibuprofen.
- Tricyclic antidepressants are primarily used for depression, but in low doses, these medications can be used for pain relief, teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and insomnia.
- Muscle relaxers may be used for a limited amount of time to stop muscle spasms caused by TMD.
Additional TMD Treatment Options
Physical therapy along with exercises and stretches to strengthen jaw muscles and other therapies such as ice, moist heat, and ultrasound can help. Oral appliances can also benefit patients. The devices are inserted over the teeth to help prevent grinding and clenching of the jaw.
For some patients, orthodontic treatment may be recommended. Also, counseling may help patients understand the factors and behaviors that can aggravate their pain.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, visit my office. We’ll perform a series of tests to identify the cause of the symptoms and create a treatment plan. Medications, along with nonsurgical treatments, can relieve pain associated with TMD. Contact my office to schedule a consultation.