Understanding TMJ in Wichita KS – Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Understanding TMJ in Wichita KS – Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

It is estimated that more than 10 million people in the United States suffer needlessly from TMJ in Wichita KS or Temporomandibular Joint Disorders. The temporomandibular joint is basically a hinge which connects the jaw to the temporal bones in front of each ear and allowing the jaw to move side to side and up and down. Individuals that develop conditions causing pain are said to suffer from TMJ or TMD.

Common symptoms, causes, and treatments are discussed below:

• Tenderness or pain in the joint area of the jaw, or around or inside the ear when chewing, talking, or yawning.

• Problems when opening the jaws such as getting stuck in an open position or even stuck closed.

• Unusual sounds when opening or closing the mouth, with or without pain.

• Swelling of the face, headaches, toothaches, aching neck, dizziness, or ringing in the ears.

Common causes include injury from impact to the jaw or face or whiplash. Grinding of the teeth or clenching the jaws resulting in excessive pressure. In order to accurately determine if one is experiencing TMJ in Wichita KS pain and not similar conditions that such as sinus conditions, tooth decay, or arthritis, one needs to be examined by a dentist. Upon exam, the dentist will check your bite, check for tenderness and swelling, listen for unusual sounds when you open or close your jaws, and ensure your jaw is not impaired when it moves.

Your dentist may contact us or another oral surgeon for advanced treatment if you are diagnosed with TMJ or TMD. The first course of treatment will probably involve high doses of NSAIDs for the swelling and pain. You may be prescribed muscle relaxers or even anti-anxiety medicine to ease the stress that can cause involuntary clenching or grinding of the teeth. Bite-guards are commonly prescribed to eliminate the harmful effects of grinding or clenching the teeth and are worn at bedtime only.

If all of the above fails to relieve the pain, then surgery is often recommended. Surgical options include Arthrocentesis for patients with locked jaws and no history of TMJ. Arthroscopy may be performed under general anesthesia and involves making small incisions in front of the ear. Inflamed tissue may be removed or the disc, or joint may be realigned to relieve the pain. The surgery is considered minimally invasive and has a shorter recovery period compared to major surgery.