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How Can Your Dentist Help With TMJ?

TMJ, also known as a temporomandibular disorder, occurs when the jaw and chewing muscles don’t function like they once did. For various reasons, the jaw no longer opens and shuts in a natural position, causing oral problems and physical discomfort.

Diagnosis

If you think you might have TMJ, it’s best to visit a dentist to be diagnosed. A dentist can perform a simple examination and determine if further action is required. For many people, there are a series of actions that can be taken to cut down on the amount of discomfort that one feels. It’s not always necessary to take drastic action that can sometimes be irreversible.

If the symptoms persist or worsen, it may be time to return to the dentist. Your dentist will be able to present you with a number of different options that provide relief.

Medications

A dentist has the authority to prescribe you medications that provide pain relief for TMJ. It’s always best to start with medications like ibuprofen, but if they do not work for you, you can speak with your dentist about stronger medications.

Stabilization Splints

These splints can help with TMJ, although there is no conclusive evidence to support the claim of pain relief in individuals. For this option, your dentist will order the splint for you. This might be a good option if you constantly grind your teeth during the night.

Invasive Treatments

If other solutions prove ineffective, surgery and implants may be recommended by your dentist. Surgery should be avoided where possible and don’t guarantee 100% effectiveness. If surgery is recommended, your dentist will be able to let you know when that time comes and answer your questions.

Implants are another avenue that can be explored, but as with surgery, there is no guarantee. There are serious side effects that can occur with implants, so this option should be discussed at length with your dentist and with a physician before deciding.

Depending on how serious your TMJ is, your dentist can recommend solutions that work for you. Research every option before deciding and make sure you know all the possible side effects that come with each one. Your dentist should be able to answer all your questions for you, and if they can’t answer, they’ll know who you should ask. TMJ doesn’t have to affect your entire life.


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