How to Cure TMJ Permanently

The TMJ is a hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull, right around where your ears are. You know how you use your jaw to talk, chew, and even yawn? It’s all thanks to the TMJ. But sometimes, it malfunctions, causing pain or stiffness and making everyday tasks like eating or talking uncomfortable.

Types of TMJ Disorders

TMJ disorders have a few types. Some of them can be permanently cured, while some cannot. These types include:

  • Depending on the cause, three main types of TMJ issues exist. Firstly, there is myofascial pain, which is basically when people grind or clench their teeth a lot (a fancy term for that is bruxism). This can trigger pain not just in the jaw but also in the face and neck.
  • Then, there is arthritis, which can affect the TMJ like other joints in the body, like hips or knees. Different kinds of arthritis can cause TMJ problems, but the good news is that treatments can often help.
  • Lastly, joint derangement happens when something like a disc in the joint gets out of place. This usually comes from an injury or accident that affects the face or jaw. Sometimes, surgery might be needed to fix things up after dental or facial trauma.

TMJ Treatments

Treating TMJ disorder aims to ease pain, reduce swelling, and make your jaw work right again. With the right treatment, TMJ can get better completely. The treatment options can vary depending on how bad it is and what’s causing it.

  • Initial Consultation

Firstly, you’ll want to see a dentist. They will examine your jaw and teeth to figure out what’s going on. Then, they might suggest:

  • Wear a night guard while you sleep to protect your teeth from grinding.
  • Using a dental splint to help your jaw line up better.
  • Getting braces or other orthodontic treatment to fix crooked teeth.
  • Physical Therapy

You might also benefit from physical therapy. A special therapist can help you with exercises to improve your jaw movement and strengthen the muscles around it. They might also use techniques to relax tense muscles and help them heal faster.

Non-Surgical Methods

Surgical treatments are usually the last resort. Your dentist will first opt for non-surgical treatments to see how your jaw reacts. Sometimes, it can even result in a permanent cure for TMJ disorder.

  • Trigger Point Injections: Your dentist might suggest injecting corticosteroids or botulinum toxin (like BOTOX) into painful spots to ease the pain. They might also use dry needling, which involves inserting thin needles into trigger points without any medication.
  • Ultrasound Therapy: Instead of just taking pictures, ultrasound probes can also provide your jaw with heat therapy. This helps increase blood flow, relax muscles, and heal tissues.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Simple tweaks in what you eat can help, like avoiding hard foods such as nuts or chewing gum, which can put extra strain on your jaw.

Surgical Methods

Surgery is mostly used when all other treatments fail to address the condition. Therefore, surgeries have a high chance of being a permanent cure for a TMJ disorder. Your oral surgeon might suggest the following:

  • Arthroscopy:
    This is like keyhole surgery, where a small tube with a camera and light is used to look inside the jaw joint. Surgeons can then use tiny instruments to fix things like scar tissue, move the disk back into place, or reshape the bone.
  • Open-Joint Surgery:
    For this, your surgeon makes a bigger cut to reach the jaw joint directly. It’s a more involved procedure than arthroscopy.

Final Word

The answer to “how to cure TMJ permanently” can be tricky. However, you can find out what works best for you with the help of a medical professional. Leaving it untreated can make the pain worse, disrupting your daily life.

Visit Dr. Brian Ryu at Katy Cypress Oral Surgery & Implant Center. Our maxillofacial surgeon specializes in Orthognathic surgery, treating every jaw or teeth alignment disorder. Call us at (281) 667-0607 to book an appointment.

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