Is TMJ Permanent?
Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ) is a medical condition that affects your jaw joint and can result in excruciating pain in your jaw, headaches, neck pain, pain in your face, ear pain, and difficulties with jaw motion. Thankfully, TMJ is usually caused by an underlying medical condition that can be treated, with the problems gone forever.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of TMJ, the best thing to do is to visit with us as soon as possible. We can help diagnose the underlying situation, as well as provide treatment to heal the condition.
Common symptoms of TMJ
Some of the common symptoms of TMJ include:
- Pain or tenderness in your jaw
- Pain in one or both of your jaw joints
- Aching in or around your ear
- An aching sensation in your face
- A locked-up jaw, making it difficult to open and close your mouth and chew
- A constantly clenched jaw
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s time to come and see us and get your jaw evaluated and treated. For most, we can take care of the pain quickly and address the underlying causes so that the condition goes away entirely.
Long-term effects of TMJ
If you have TMJ and don’t get it treated, the condition can result in long-term damage to your joints and teeth. Clenched teeth are a common side effect of TMJ, and it can cause damage to your teeth, enlarging of the surrounding muscles (creating a boxy look around your mouth), as well as long-term damage to the joint. Getting the right treatment fast not only eases the pain and discomfort, but it also avoids complications that could arise.
Common treatments for TMJ
There are several TMJ treatments that can be applied while any underlying situations (if any exist) are identified and treated. Some of the common treatments include:
- Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, especially prescription-strength ibuprofen, can help reduce the inflammation in the joint and relieve the discomfort.
- Muscle relaxants (such as BOTOX®) can be injected to cause spasmed muscles to relax, releasing your clenched jaw and relieving the pain and discomfort.
- Oral splints can stop your jaw from clenching, allowing the muscles and joints to relax
- In some cases, surgery is needed to repair the condition causing TMJ when more conservative treatments cannot relieve the symptoms.