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Causes, Symptoms And Treatment Of TMJ In Harrisburg PA

Currently believed to affect more than ten million Americans, temporomandibular joint disorder pertains to the joints and muscles of the jaws. Also known as TMJ, this affliction ranges in intensity from very mild to severe. For most, TMJ is caused by muscle spasms, but can be indicative of stressed ligaments, osteoarthritis or the disc inside the jaw joint becoming displaced.

Generally, the symptoms of TMJ include pain in the jaw joint or the muscles of the jaw, face or neck, tension in the jaw muscles, difficulty moving the jaw joint and clicking, popping or grinding within the joint of the jaw. In the mildest of cases, those suffering from this disorder may only experience a light jolt of pain in the jaw when clenching their teeth or biting down on a hard morsel of food. For the most severe cases, patients may only be able to slightly open their mouths.

When seeking TMJ Treatment, the first step should be a consultation with a dentist. Most patients can be treated with non surgical methods. The most common TMJ Treatment Harrisburg PA is a bite splint. This plastic guard is fitted over either the upper or lower teeth, ensuring the teeth will glide smoothly across each other and allowing the jaw muscles to relax. Bite splints also help to alleviate the symptoms by preventing the patient from clenching and grinding the teeth.

Physical therapy is also used in the treatment of TMJ. This may entail stretching exercises for the jaw muscles and ligaments, ultrasound therapy and warm compresses applied to the jaw area. Physical therapy can help relax the affected muscles and provide more mobility to the joints. Yoga, stress management techniques and acupuncture have also been found to be helpful tools in TMJ Treatment Harrisburg PA.

Dentists may also prescribe medication for this disorder. Pain medications and anti inflammatory agents help ease the discomfort associated with TMJ. Muscle relaxants can also help in cases caused by spasming muscles.

As a last resort, and only when the disorder lies within the jaw joint, surgery may be considered. Most surgical procedures involve flushing debris out of the joint. Another option is reshaping the disc of the jaw joint or affixing it in place.

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