December 13, 2017

Do you have difficulty opening your mouth for your favorite holiday cookies? Do you hear clicking noises from your jaw while comparing holiday recipes? How about pain when you yawn after stuffing yourself with turkey? If you have any of these symptoms, you might be suffering from TMJ. Trust Dr. Tilman Richards, an experienced dentist, to treat this painful condition.

What is TMJ?

TMJ is an acronym for temporomandibular joints, a painful condition marked by inflammation or damage to the joint. Additional symptoms are pain while opening or moving your jaw, upper shoulder and/or neck pain, and frequent headaches. While its underlying cause is unknown, factors that play a role in this condition include arthritis, bruxism (teeth grinding), and mouth trauma.

Treatment Options

Your dentist can help you identify bad habits, such as clenching your teeth, and symptoms, such as pain around the lower face and jaw, that can be remedied through lifestyle changes. Treatments for TMJ include:

  • Bite adjustment: This treatment ensures your upper teeth mesh nicely with your lower jaw when closed, relieving tension and associated pain.
  • Relaxation techniques: Learn how to ease muscle tension around your neck and jaw with exercises to improve jaw mobility and promote healing.
  • Night guard: Wearing a tooth guard at night can help ease bruxism pain.
  • Cortisone injections: Your dentist can use cortisone to reduce swelling and ease TMJ pain.

Jaw Replacement Surgery

With changes to head off bad habits and some over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, you may be able to successfully treat TMJ without surgery. However, jaw joint replacement surgery is an option your dentist may suggest when other treatments fail. Recovery from this surgery can take up to several weeks, but you will finally be relieved of chronic pain in your joint, muscles and from headaches.

Help for TMJ pain is a phone call away. Contact our office in Corpus Christi, TX to schedule a consultation with Dr. Richards, who can recommend treatment options for your specific symptoms.



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