One of the problems with diagnosing TMJ is that it has many potential symptoms. People often experience different combinations of symptoms. Some of the more common symptoms are:
- Mandible sounds (popping, clicking, or grinding)
- Jaw pain
- Headaches, including migraines
- Facial pain
- Tooth wear
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Vertigo or dizziness
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Tingling and numbness in the fingers
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms and haven’t found relief with other treatments, you may have TMJ.
If you suspect you might have TMJ, we will take care to properly diagnose your condition. Accurate diagnosis is vital to successful treatment. Research suggests that there are multiple forms of TMJ, so it’s vital that we identify the form you have to determine the proper treatment.
We begin by taking a thorough medical history. Then we will perform a comprehensive exam, which will involve touching your face to identify the position and state of the joints and muscles.
We will also use some of our technology to ensure precise, repeatable measurement of your condition. The K-7 system lets us measure different aspects of your jaw function. It includes three different tools. Electrosonography measures and records the sound of your joint to help us identify exactly what’s happening in the joint. Electromyography tells us about the state of tension or relaxation of your muscles. Digital jaw tracking helps us identify any irregularities in motion that may be related to your TMJ.
After looking at the K-7 data, we may also utilize imaging techniques to look at the state of your jaw. Imaging techniques used may include panoramic x-rays, ultrasound, CT scans, and MRI.
Looking at all this data, we will recommend a treatment plan.
The proper TMJ treatment depends on the exact nature of your condition. The sooner you get treatment, the more likely you will benefit from our proven solutions.
Short term, some TMJ symptoms will respond to home care. Resting your jaw, as in talking less, switching to a soft food diet, and avoiding behaviors that work your jaw such as chewing gum, biting on things, or clenching. Sometimes combating stress will help alleviate the pain too.
You can take over-the counter pain relievers, but make sure you follow labeling directions unless otherwise directed by your doctor. You can also apply heat to sore muscles and ice to sore joints to help combat early forms of the condition.
But if you are tired of the pain and ready to explore more permanent solutions, our TMJ doctors will often use an oral appliance or bite orthotic, to help hold your jaw in the proper position for muscle comfort and minimal nerve disturbance. These appliances can be removable or fixed, depending on what the doctors recommend. We will utilize the most Advanced Computerized Technology and CT scans to provide the highest level of care.
Another temporary alternative to treating TMJ pain include the use of BOTOXⓇ. Botox injections are placed directly into the muscle (s) associated with the pain. Any pain associated with the Botox TMJ procedure is generally due to the injections, but it is minimal and brief and the patient can return to normal activities very quickly.
Once we’ve established the proper position with your bite appliance, we can talk about adjusting your bite with permanent restorations so that you get the benefits without having to wear an orthotic all the time. This is optional, and many people find it a better alternative to wearing the bite appliance.
Sometimes we may also recommend complementary care using other methods and may refer you to other specialists to help with your care.
If you are looking for relief from your TMJ symptoms in Wichita Falls, TX, please call 940-322-2252 or contact us today for an appointment with one of our experienced TMJ dentists at StarImage Dentistry.