A Myriad of TMJ Symptoms
You’ll find more information about the signs and symptoms of TMJ, but for our purposes here, it’s important to understand that one of the most difficult aspects of diagnosing and treating TMD is that this complex condition presents a number of different symptoms that often-times appear unrelated at first. For example, you may have back pain, congestion, or ringing in your ears. When doctors and dentists are presented with these types of symptoms, the first thought is usually not a problem with your jaw or a misaligned bite, medically referred to as “malocclusion.” Headaches are a common symptom of TMJ, and many people overlook the jaw joint as the cause of those headaches.
Neuromuscular dentists in Minneapolis and across the globe are studying TMJ diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment to help put an end to the suffering that millions of people with TMD face every day. TMJ treatment in Minneapolis is available, and it’s important to start treatment sooner rather than later because the painful symptoms of this degenerative condition will only get worse.
Treatment Takes Many Forms
Prior to finding an experienced, highly skilled neuromuscular dentist in Minnesota who has spent years treating TMJ, many of our patients try treatments at home. Unfortunately, however, while some of those at-home treatments may alleviate the symptoms of TMJ for a short time, most of our patients discover that in-office treatment with Dr. Bril provides long-term relief from the painful symptoms of TMJ.
Using the most advanced dental technology available today to diagnose and treat TMJ, Dr. Bril and his team are able to map out the movements of the jaw while active and at rest to find the most optimal position of your jaw. When the jaw is placed in its optimal position, the stress on the temporomandibular joints is decreased, and the painful symptoms of TMJ begin to go away. This may take only a couple of treatments for some patients; for others, it could mean weeks, months, or even years of treatment.
Drug therapy as Treatment
Some patients find relief by taking pain relievers and muscle relaxants. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, known as N-SAIDs, will reduce the inflammation surrounding the temporomandibular joint and jaw joint muscles and ease the pain. Muscle relaxants will help reduce muscle tension in the jaw area and will also help ease the tightness often felt by TMJ sufferers in the head, neck, and back. There’s good news for our patients who are opposed to drug therapy—treatment without any medication has proven to be hugely successful at Brilliant Dentistry.
TMJ Treatment Options
Occlusal appliances, also referred to as oral appliances, are an easy, convenient way to control the position of the jaw and ease the painful symptoms of TMJ. Oral appliances are perfect for those patients who want relief from TMJ but don’t have a lot of time to spend in the office; you can take your oral appliance wherever you go, and that’s great news for our patients who do a lot of traveling.
A TENS unit (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is often used to relax the joints and muscles of the jaw and surrounding areas. Some patients receive this TMJ treatment a few times a week, while others find relief after just a few TENS sessions.
If you want a permanent solution to your disorder, we can take it a step further and make changes to your teeth with dental treatments such as porcelain veneers and crowns to hold your jaw in the correct position. This is referred to as “phase two” treatment.
Lifestyle modifications have also proven hugely successful in many Brilliant Dentistry patients with TMJ. Simply making minor changes in your daily and nightly routine may ease your TMJ symptoms:
- Eating softer foods that require less chewing
- Changing sleep positions
- Using a cervical pillow
- Performing daily jaw exercises
- Avoid chewing gum
- Heating pads and ice packs
- Neck, jaw, and face massage
- Practicing mindfulness to reduce tension and stress
If you have tried any combination of the above treatment techniques to no avail, it may be time to see Minneapolis physiologic dentist Dr. Kevin Bril. Finding an experienced TMJ dentist may mean an end to the suffering you’ve been experiencing for far too long.
Surgery as TMJ treatment is almost always a last resort because so many patients have experienced relief from pain without undergoing any invasive treatment.
The key to getting the best TMJ treatment in Minneapolis is to find a TMJ dentist who can diagnose TMD early and create an individualized treatment plan that will work for you. The wonderful part of having so many TMJ treatment options available
is that if one does not do the trick, there are others to try. Once the perfect combination of TMJ treatment is found, healing may begin.
Aren’t you tired of suffering from the painful symptoms of TMJ? Dr. Kevin Bril and his kind, compassionate dental team, stand ready to diagnose and treat your TMJ. Please contact Dr. Bril by phone (952) 944-2052 or fill out our online contact form, so one of our team members can get you scheduled or answer any questions you may have about TMJ treatment at Brilliant Dentistry.