Dentist Near Me: Katy Texas: TMJ Therapy
You temporomandibular joint, TMJ, is the joint that connects the temporomandibular bone of your skull to the lower jaw or the mandible. There is a thin disk of cartilage that helps cushion these two bones, while the joint is also supported by muscles, ligaments and connective tissue; with all of these structures working together to ensure that the joint functions smoothly. The TMJ, as per the gurus over at vitadentalhouston.com in Katy Texas, is in fact the most used joint in the entire body as it comes into play when talking, chewing, swallowing among other movements involving your jaw. Unfortunately, like any joint in your body, the TMJ can develop problems. It is these problems with your jaw as well as the muscles in your face that control it that are referred to as temporomandibular disorders, TMD. If you have TMD, you are likely to experience popping and clicking sounds in your jaw, chronic headaches, clogged ears, neck pain, ringing in your ears among other symptoms, all of which could be so severe that they could interfere with your quality of life. While in most cases treatment can be done with the help of at-home therapies and remedies, if your pain and symptoms are so severe, your dentist will step in to help. This article will look to highlight some of the TMJ therapies your dentist will use to help you with your TMD.
Tooth decay has been known to affect one’s bite and could be one of the contributing factors to your TMD. Your dentist will therefore look to treat any decay you may have in your teeth and see if it will provide you any relief. On top of that, they may prescribe you medication, usually non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, for the pain as well as muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety meds and even anti-depressants for some instances. The above treatment therapies will however, only provide temporary relief and for a more permanent fix there are other therapies your dentist may try depending on the cause of your TMD, with the highly rated vitadentalhouston.com being the best place to go to for TMD therapy in Katy Texas. One of the things your dentist may try as far as TMJ therapy goes is appliance therapy or the use of oral appliances to help treat your TMD. They could use a splint or a mouthguard which will help reduce stress on your jaw allowing your muscles to function normally as well as covering the deflective interferences that may be affecting your bite allowing the lower jaw to reposition itself into its socket properly. The use of appliance therapy is usually in cases where the TMD is due to grinding of teeth and bruxism.
Sometimes, your TMD may be due to malocclusion and as such, your dentist may decide that the way to treat your condition is to try and correct your bite. Here, there are two ways your dentist may go around things: they may decide to carry out what is referred to as occlusal equilibration or they may decide to fit you with a dental appliance; with both of these options being available to the people of Katy Texas over at the highly rated vitadentalhouston.com. Occlusal equilibration basically involves the reshaping of the biting surfaces of your teeth to help eliminate deflective interferences and enable your jaw to close properly. Once this is achieved and your jaw is able to close properly within its position in the temporomandibular socket, then it usually results in immediate relief of pain as the muscles serving the TMJ will now be able to function properly. Other than occlusal equilibration, you may also have to get fitted with orthodontic appliances to try and correct the malocclusion.
Your TMD may also be due to structural disorder within the joint itself and if your dentist suspects this to be the case, they will order diagnostic tests to try and ascertain this. This will involve the use of x-rays, especially panoramic x-rays as well as other diagnostic tests such as MRI and CT scans. Depending on the results, your dentist may recommend a number of therapies to try and fix the structural issues, including the fitting of an intra-oral appliance, orthodontic treatment and even maxillofacial surgery for more severe cases. This may mean that you may have to be referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, with the best surgeons in Katy Texas being available over at vitadentalhouston.com. The final TMJ therapy your dentist may recommend is surgical treatment which is usually used as a last resort after all other conservative options have been tried and have failed to yield results. Surgery doesn’t always resolve TMD issues however. It will be done by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and will be performed under general anesthesia which means you should bring someone to drive you back home after the procedure. Examples of surgical therapy for TMD include arthrocentesis, which involves cleansing the joint by inserting needles into the joint area and squirting sterile fluid, arthroscopy, which involves the use of an endoscope to remove any adhesions, treat inflammation or even reposition the disc and open joint surgery which will allow them to access the deteriorating bony structures of your jaw, tumors, chipped areas of the bone as well as severe scarring after which they can either remove or re-sculpt the affected area.
The above discussion attempts to cover some of the therapies your dentist will offer to try and fix your TMD, with the highly regarded vitadentalhouston.com being the best place to go to in Katy Texas for such dental services.