The joints that hinge your jaw are a somewhat complex system that allows them to perform the sophisticated movements of biting, chewing and grinding of your food thanks to a series of muscles, tendons, and ligaments working with the jaw. This also allows your lower jaw to slip and to apply grinding force.
However, there are times when mechanical injury or inflammation issues in these joints can lead to discomfort and pain. The general term used for these issues is TMJ disorder, and it can come about from a variety of sources.
Since the joints are so complex, they can sometimes develop pain or inflammation resulting from seemingly mundane sources. Employing a two-stage treatment strategy helps your dentist, Dr. Carl McMillan, identify the cause and mitigate symptoms.
It starts with some minor changes to your daily habits. This includes eating softer foods, applying ice packs to the area, performing some basic jaw stretching exercises, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.
If you don’t experience significant symptom relief in a few weeks, Dr. Carl McMillan will then start to explore more advanced treatment strategies, such as taking prescription anti-inflammatory medication, wearing a night guard when sleeping, or using prescription muscle relaxers.
If this still does not provide relief from your TMJ disorder symptoms, Dr. Carl McMillan will discuss more invasive procedures with you. This might include things like acupuncture, the use of a stabilization splint, or surgical intervention.
Do you suspect that you might be developing TMJ disorder in American Fork, Utah? If so, we invite you to call TMJ Therapy at 801-756-0900 to seek treatment. We are here to help you get the best quality TMJ treatment available.