Being one of the most frequently undiagnosed dental health complications, TMJ Disorder is a debilitating condition that causes the sufferer to experience chronic pain and discomfort surrounding the main jaw joints, located on both sides of the skull, near the ears. Untreated cases can result in early arthritis, tooth damage, chronically fatigued muscles, severe headaches and loss of functionality of the temporomandibular joints. Fortunately, treatment is often simple and your dentist can determine which option is best for your case.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Also known as “OAP”, this type of treatment involves the use of a customized mouth guard that is worn over your teeth to address bite issues that could be affecting your jaw joints. Based on your clinical examination and radiographs, oral appliance therapy can be used to:
- reduce pressure on sensitive tissues
- improve joint function
- realign your mandible to a more comfortable position
- decrease harmful behaviors
- protect your teeth
- open your airway
The best way to reduce discomfort is to avoid doing things that may make it worse. In this case, your temporomandibular joints are extremely hard-working, and it can be difficult to let them relax. Do your best to avoid hard, crunchy foods, or anything that takes a long time to chew. These types of food items can place unnecessary stress on your fatigued joints. When soreness is really becoming a problem (and to help reduce inflammation) take over the counter pain medicine, like Tylenol or Ibuprofen, as directed. For some people, placing warm compresses on the painful area for about 20 minutes can alleviate symptoms. Follow this up with a gentle massage and soft jaw movements to fully relax your muscles.
ABOUT YOUR NORTH RICHLAND HILLS DENTIST:
With over 25 years of professional experience, Dr. Steven M. Huffstutler and his caring team proudly provide exceptional preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatment to patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth, including North Richland Hills, Denton, the Mid-cities, Southlake, and all surrounding communities. We also have extensive experience helping patients find relief from painful TMJ disorders (various forms of jaw dysfunction). To schedule an appointment with Dr. Huffstutler, contact our office today by calling 817-577-1444.