TMJ/TMD Treatment in Carlsbad
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are common, and many people suffer from them throughout the world. There are several treatment options available from conservative lifestyle changes to drugs and surgeries.
Before we can begin treatment here at Smiles for Health in Carlsbad, we need first to diagnose the problem causing your TMJ discomfort. After the diagnosis is established, treatment can begin.
Diagnosing TMJ Disorders
If you complain of jaw pain, then we’ll need to give you an assessment. Sometimes the problem isn’t evidently due to TMJ disease as many patients also have ear pain. This tends to make the diagnosis a little harder.
We’ll start by examining you here at Smiles for Health. We’ll feel your jaw as you open and close it, and we will also be listening for crepitus. Palpating other areas around the jaw is also done to check for additional problems. The assessment of your jaw’s mobility is another important test. Many patients often have difficulties moving their jaws.
Arthroscopy is needed in certain situations. An arthroscope is a small camera connected to a tube that goes through the skin and allows us to see the joint.
Fortunately, we have several treatment modalities available at our disposal. Only one might be used, or we may combine several treatments.
Medications are used to relieve pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms. These should act quickly to provide some relief to patients. In some cases, they can be enough, while we might need to add other treatments in others.
Splints, physical therapy, and surgical procedures are our other options. We usually postpone surgery as much as possible and only decide to use it if other options don’t help.
TMJ disorders can be frustrating and affect our lives, which is why prompt diagnosis and treatment are important.