TMJ dysfunction can be a real problem, impeding function and causing chronic pain. These side effects of dysfunctional TMJs, or temporomandibular joints, have the potential to get in the way of a joyful life. There are a number of ways in which physicians in Los Angeles and beyond approach TMJ pain management. Many include medication, either one type or a combination of a few. Some of the medicinal ways physicians treat painful TMJ includes:
- Analgesics for pain relief, such as Tylenol or aspirin. Should over the counter pain medications produce little benefit, prescription medications can also be recommended.
- Anti-inflammatory medication like Ibuprofen may be recommended for mild cases of jaw pain. When TMJ pain is chronic or more severe, a prescription medication can also be recommended.
- Muscle relaxants may be prescribed by a physician to relax muscles and decrease or stop muscle spasms around dysfunctional TMJs.
Medicinal treatment for TMJ sometimes even spans into the realm of anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drugs, the latter of which is known to reduce generalized pain.
A focused approach
We want to enable our TMJ patients to enjoy full function of these vital joints. Our approach is to find the problem that has caused dysfunction to occur, which will allow us to customize the most appropriate treatment. We realize that pain can change the way you interact with others, and agree that there are times when medicinal treatment for pain can be beneficial. However, attempts should also be made to correct the issue that triggers the onset of pain.
In the instance of TMJ, common causes include bite issues and bruxism, which is tooth clenching and grinding. Your dentist can tell if you grind or clench your teeth, even if you are not aware of this habit. Many people clench or grind while they sleep, and are only aware of the aftereffects of this habit. Assessing the bite, your dentist can determine if misalignment may be placing undue pressure on the joints at the back of the jaw, and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Your Los Angeles dentist has the expertise to help you find the best TMJ pain management through non-surgical, non-medicinal treatment. Contact us to schedule your appointment with Dr. Mungcal.