4 Questions People with TMJ Have about Treatment
There is no way to know exactly how many people have temporomandibular joint disorders, since many people live undiagnosed. Current estimates put the number at approximately 10 million in the U.S., although more may suffer with the condition. If you have recently been diagnosed with TMJ, we know you have concerns about your treatment options. If you think you may have TMJ but have not yet sought help from a Los Angeles TMJ dentist, we know you have questions, too. Continue reading to learn the answers to four of the most frequently asked questions about TMJ treatment in Los Angeles.
Will my TMJ problems go away on their own?
TMJ disorders do not resolve on their own. However, the symptoms may appear to come and go when exacerbations in the disorder cause periodic inflammation. In addition, the human body has a natural propensity for accommodating disorders and compensating for them when they otherwise cannot be resolved. It is important to seek treatment for TMJ to avoid the progression of the disease and the worsening of symptoms.
What could happen if I do not get my TMJ disorder treated?
An untreated TMJ disorder can worsen over time, resulting in serious health consequences. For example, constant grinding and clenching may result in chronic migraines and tooth erosion. In some, TMJ can also lead to snoring and a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea, which can reduce blood oxygen levels while sleeping and increase the risk of heart disease.
Will I need surgery for TMJ?
Surgery is reserved only for severe cases of temporomandibular joint disorder that have not otherwise responded to more conservative methods of treatment. For most people, however, less invasive treatments are sufficient for stopping pain and other symptoms that are caused by TMJ disorders.
Are all TMJ disorders treated the same way?
There are many different types of TMJ disorders. Like any other joint in the body, the temporomandibular joint is subject to wear, alignment problems, disease and more. Treating a TMJ disorder means getting to the root of the problem – not just treating the symptoms. For example, the TMJ joint may develop issues inside the joint that cause clicking, popping, and difficulty opening or closing the mouth. Disorders may also develop in the tissues outside the joint, which may result in soft tissue pain and tenderness.
Depending on the severity of the condition and its cause, treatment might include:
- Therapeutic Joint Exercises
- Hot and Cold Therapy
- Replacement of Any Missing Teeth
- Neuromuscular Dentistry
- Treatment for Misalignment (Occlusion)
- Surgery (Extreme Cases Only)
For more information about TMJ disorders and the treatments available to patients here in the Los Angeles area, contact our office today. We look forward to serving you soon.
Disclaimer: Obviously, every patient’s case is different, and needs to be properly diagnosed and treated by a healthcare professional. Please see your healthcare professional or contact us for an appointment.