Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI
Temporomandibular joint disorder is a dysfunction of the jaw joints, and it is more common than you might think. Medical News Today estimates that approximately 12 percent of the population of the United States experiences TMJ disorder in some form during their life. The effects of TMJ disorder vary widely from person to person, but one of the most frequently reported symptoms is pain—usually chronic and often severe enough to be debilitating. Whenever you experience pain, you want to find relief or, ideally, a cure. In this article, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, a TMJ dentist in Detroit, explores whether a permanent cure exists for TMJ pain.
How does TMJ disorder cause pain?
When you develop an issue with the way your temporomandibular joint functions, it often radiates to the surrounding nerves, soft tissue, and muscles. The nerves can be compressed, aggravated, or irritated, sending pain impulses to the brain. Depending on your case of TMJ disorder, you could experience this pain from a wide variety of places in your body: the jaws, the mouth, your face, your neck and shoulders, and even your back.
Remedies for TMJ Pain
- TENS – Short for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, a TENS unit delivers low-level impulses of electricity to the area affected by TMJ disorder, relaxing compressed muscles and the associated nerves to relieve the tension.
- Myofunctional therapy – This entails performing a series of exercises that work the tongue and mouth muscles, retraining them for proper function. These exercises are simple, relatively painless, and can be completed in just a few minutes each day. Performed over time, they can help restore harmony to the orofacial system, bringing the jaws into proper alignment and alleviating stress and tension in the jaw joints.
- Home remedies – There are several steps you can take on your own to try and alleviate the pain emanating from your TMJ disorder. These include making changes to your diet, jaw massage, seeking help through acupuncture therapy, alternating heat and cold on your jaws, or finding ways to lower stress levels.
So, is there a cure for TMJ disorder?
A cure is defined as recovery or relief from a disease, ailment, or disorder so that there are no further symptoms without any medical intervention. Help from a medical professional can manage the symptoms of TMJ disorder so that you do not experience any future pain, but a lasting cure may only be achievable through surgical interventions in some cases.
Your best course of action to help manage TMJ disorder is to seek care from a neuromuscular dentist in Detroit. Neuromuscular dentists have significant experience and education focusing on the alignment of the bite and jaws, which aids in identifying, diagnosing, and treating TMJ disorder.
Dr. Hartrick has studied the principles and practices of neuromuscular dentistry at the Kois Center in Seattle. She uses her training to help patients in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan, find relief for their TMJ disorder.
Neuromuscular Dentistry in Royal Oak
Stop living with the chronic pain from TMJ disorder. Hartrick Dentistry can help you find relief. To learn more, call (248) 549-0950 to schedule a consultation today.