Contact Wichita OMS

East Wichita

1919 N. Webb Rd.
Wichita, KS 67206

P: (316) 634-1414
F: (316) 634-2907

West Wichita

8710 W. 13th, Suite 104
Wichita, KS 67212

P: (316) 721-4850
F: (316) 729-4889

 

TMJ Pain Treatment

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are a family of problems related to your complex jaw joint. If you have had symptoms like TMJ pain or a "clicking" sound, you'll be glad to know that these problems are more easily diagnosed and treated than they were in the past. These symptoms occur when the joints of the jaw and the chewing muscles (muscles of mastication) do not work together correctly. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the name for each joint (right and left) that connects your jaw to your skull. Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and TMJ treatment are important.
TMJ Pain Treatment - Wisdom Teeth - Dental Implants - Wichita Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
 

Trouble With Your Jaw?

TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM joint. You may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Injuries and arthritis can damage the joint directly or stretch or tear the muscle ligaments. As a result, the disk, which is made of cartilage and functions as the “cushion” of the jaw joint, can slip out of position. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking, or grating noise when you open your mouth or trouble opening your mouth wide.
 

Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?

  • Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth?
  • Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?
  • Do you have frequent headaches or neck aches?
  • Does the pain get worse when you clench your teeth?
  • Does stress make your clenching and pain worse?
  • Does your jaw click, pop, grate, catch, or lock when you open your mouth?
  • Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, eat, or yawn?
  • Have you ever injured your neck, head, or jaws?
  • Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?
  • Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?
  • Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
  • Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?
  • Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken or worn?
The more times you answered "yes", the more likely it is that you have a TMJ disorder. Understanding TMJ pain will also help you understand how they are treated.
 

TMJ Treatment

There are various TMJ pain treatment options available. Most of these are non-surgical. Therefore, our jaw surgeons are not typically involved in the initial diagnosis of you temporomandibular disorder. Instead, they are consulted when TMJ specialists feel that a surgical intervention may be warranted.
 
The initial goals or your TMJ specialist are to relieve the muscle spasm and joint pain. This is usually accomplished with a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, or muscle relaxant. Steroids can be injected directly into the joints to reduce pain and inflammation. Self-care TMJ treatments can often be effective as well and include:
 
    Resting your jaw
    Keeping your teeth apart when you are not swallowing or eating
    Eating soft foods
    Applying ice and heat
    Exercising your jaw
    Practicing good posture
 
Stress management techniques such as biofeedback or physical therapy may also be recommended, as well as a temporary, clear plastic appliance known as a splint. A splint (or night guard) fits over your top or bottom teeth and helps keep your teeth apart, thereby relaxing the muscles and reducing TMJ pain. There are different types of appliances used for different purposes. A night guard helps you stop clenching or grinding your teeth and reduces muscle tension at night and helps to protect the cartilage and joint surfaces. An anterior positioning appliance moves your jaw forward, relives pressure on parts of your jaw and aids in disk re-positioning. It may be worn 24 hours/day to help your jaw heal. An orthotic stabilization appliance is worn 24 hours/day or just at night to move your jaw into proper position. Appliances also help to protect from tooth wear.
 

What About Bite Correction Or Surgery?

If your TMJ disorder has caused problems with how your teeth fit together, you may need TMJ treatment such as bite adjustment (equilibration), orthodontics with or without jaw reconstruction, or restorative dental work. Surgical options such as arthrocentesis and open joint surgery are rarely, but sometimes necessary. Our jaw surgeons do not consider TMJ surgery unless the jaw can’t open, is dislocated and non-reducible, or has severe degeneration.