The temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are located on either side of the jaw, allowing it to move up, down, and side to side. A number of circumstances can cause these joints to become inflamed, resulting in a condition called TMJ disorder. Dr. Vincent Ip in Austin, TX, can analyze your symptoms to recommend the best way to help you achieve relief. If necessary, he can coordinate with specialists to provide the TMJ treatment you need.
How to Know If You Have TMJ Disorder
It is hard to know for sure whether you have TMJ disorder without a diagnosis from your dentist. However, you may notice:
- Popping or clicking noises when opening your jaw
- Jaw pain
- Pain in the ears or neck
- Ringing in your ears
- Difficulty opening your jaw
- Teeth grinding
- Worn teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
It is important to keep in mind that these symptoms can vary considerably from person to person. If you suspect you might have TMJ disorder, speak to a dentist as soon as possible.
Although some cases of TMJ disorder go away on their own, persistent symptoms call for medical attention. The severity of your condition will determine which treatment is most appropriate. Many cases can be resolved with non-surgical treatment.
Simply breaking tension-causing habits can ease painful symptoms. For example, cutting back on coffee, avoiding chewing gum, and exercising regularly can help. Eating soft foods or cutting your food into smaller pieces can reduce strain on your jaw, while applying heat or ice to your jaw can also alleviate discomfort.
Without proper attention, the effects of TMJ disorder can seriously compromise your quality of life.
For mild to moderate cases, a combination of painkillers, physical therapy, and oral appliances is usually enough to provide relief. Depending on the needs of the patient, an oral appliance may help the jaws to meet properly, reducing strain on the jaws while protecting the teeth from the effects of grinding. Each device is fully customized for your comfort. These devices can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to two thousand, but they are often covered by insurance.
Depending on your symptoms and needs, Dr. Ip may recommend BOTOX® injections. BOTOX can relax specific muscles to reduce strain and inflammation.
Surgical treatments can be used to lubricate the joint, place shifted tissues back into their proper positions, or reshape the bone tissue for improved function. These measures are typically last resorts that are only recommended when less invasive solutions fail.
Book a Consultation Today
Without proper attention, the effects of TMJ disorder can seriously compromise your quality of life. Reach out to our office online or call us at (512) 444-4746 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ip today. If you have been suffering with symptoms of TMJ disorder, Dr. Ip is here to help find a solution that works for you.