TMJ (Temporamandibular Joint)


TMJ at Raptou Family Dental, Columbus, OHMost people may not commonly think much of their temporo mandibular joints (TMJ), but these are the two parts of our bodies we use the most on average every day. You use them whenever you talk, yawn, chew or swallow. Located at the base of your skull, the TMJ acts basically as a sliding hinge that connects your jawbone to the skull with a joint on both sides of the jaw. If you feel severe pain or discomfort in your jaw, however, this can be a sign of temporo mandibular disorder (TMD), which is when the TMJ begins malfunctioning. It affects the muscles that control the jaw and facial nerves connected to it.

An estimated 12 percent of all people in the U.S. (over 10 million per year) experience TMD at any one time, but many all too often try to ignore it or put off asking for help until after symptoms have advanced. At Raptou Family Dental, our team specializes in TMJ treatment and spares no effort to make sure you have all the facts. If you or a loved one are suffering from jaw pain, suspect it may be TMD, and wish to learn more about your options, please schedule an appointment to discuss it with Dr. Raptou or at (614) 427-0449.

What Are the Symptoms of TMD?



•  Discomfort, pain, or tenderness in the jaw
•  Jaw popping or clicking
•  Pain/aching in or around the ears
•  Popping sounds in your ears
•  Frequent headaches
•  Prior oral surgery
•  Stiffness or soreness in your jaw muscles
•  Pain in the temple area
•  Locking up of your jaw joints, making it difficult to open or close your mouth
•  Difficulty or pain while chewing

Exercises to Help With TMD


Although these simple exercises you can do at home are by no means guaranteed to relieve TMJ pain, they have been known to help. These include:

•  Strengthen the jaw muscles
•  Stretch your jaw daily
•  Relax your jaw
•  Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth when stressed or under anxiety
•  Increase your jaw’s mobility
•  Rest ice packs on your TMJ joint
•  Avoid chewing gum
•  Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Ex- NSAIDS)
•  Reduce jaw clicking

Treatment Options for TMJ Disorder


Your treatment options may vary from everyone else’s, depending on your health, medical history, tolerance to specific medications and mouth appliances, or how severe the disorder has become. The most common methods involve stress management techniques to rest your jaw joints and decrease teeth grinding or clenching. Often, the simplest solutions can come in the form of minor lifestyle changes.

Some patients may find relief through over-the-counter medications or muscle relaxants, but these are not a substitute for long-term treatment. They will only temporarily alleviate your pain and will not correct the underlying causes of TMD. Non-invasive treatments can also be employed, such as a mouth-guard (usually worn at night) or protective splint on your teeth to prevent grinding.

A popular choice is orthodontic braces, specifically in cases where TMD is the result of bite misalignment or malocclusion. These braces will re-align your bite, gradually and painlessly correcting the position of the teeth and jaw. This can potentially stop ongoing symptoms in their tracks before they have a chance to progress.

Whether braces are required must be determined first, however. Getting them if you don’t need them can make your TMJ disorder worse. Finally, Botox treatment for TMJ is an option. It drastically & quickly reduces pain by blocking nerve signals to the muscles, helping them to relax.

Remember, staying silent about TMJ pain does not help. If you are experiencing jaw discomfort, you can set up an appointment to discuss a treatment plan by calling (614) 427-0449.




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