Temporomandibular Joint Treatment
Thursday, June 4, 2009

Over 10 million people in the United States experience temporomandibular joint problems at any given time. In todayís 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill discusses treatment options for these problems.

The temporomandibular joint allows us to talk, chew and yawn.  TM disorders are a family of problems related to your complex jaw joint.  Symptoms may include jaw pain, headache, a clicking sound in your jaw, a misaligned bite or even trouble opening your mouth.

Jaw rest can help heal TM joints. Eating soft foods and not chewing gum or eating hard candy or chewy foods can also help. Your doctor may show you how to perform gentle muscle stretching and relaxation exercises.

The goal of treatment for TM disorders is to restore the jointís normal function.  Early therapy starts simply with resting the jaw, using warm compresses and ice packs and pain medication.

In serious cases that have failed conservative treatment, surgery may be required.

Most cases of TMJ syndrome are temporary; thus, treatment is usually conservative. Untreated TM problems can lead to more serious conditions. Early detection and treatment may help prevent these problems.

If you are experiencing any of these TM symptoms, you should have a complete dental evaluation.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.