Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders cause ongoing pain in 5-12% of all adults. However, women have double the risk of developing TMJ pain compared to men. The experienced team at Louisiana Pain Specialists has helped many patients get relief from TMJ problems. If you have jaw pain or your jaw clicks, don’t wait to seek an evaluation. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices in Kenner, Metairie, Laplace, Baton Rouge, Marrero, and New Orleans, Louisiana, or book an appointment online today.
You have two temporomandibular joints, one on each side of your face where your lower jaw connects with your skull. These joints allow you to open and close your mouth and enable side-to-side movement in your jaw. TMJ disorder occurs when a problem develops in one or both joints.
TMJ problems fall into three basic categories:
You may develop pain when the muscles controlling the TMJ develop trigger points. Teeth grinding while you sleep also stresses the muscles.
Several structural problems can arise in the TMJ. The disc between the jaw and skull can move out of place, you may suffer a joint injury, or your jaw could be misaligned. Teeth out of position, teeth grinding, and a naturally crooked jaw contribute to jaw misalignment.
Like any other joint, your TMJ is susceptible to arthritis and degenerative disc disease. Inflammation can develop in any of the soft tissues, including the nerves, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
TMJ disorder primarily causes pain in your jaw, but it can involve your neck, back, teeth, and temples, as well.
You may also experience:
In severe cases, your jaw can lock, making it hard to open and close your mouth.
Treatment for TMJ disorder may include exercises to stretch your jaw, relaxing the joint, and taking anti-inflammatory medications to relieve your pain. In addition, some people need to wear dental appliances to protect them from teeth gliding and jaw clenching. In severe cases, you may need surgery.
The team at Louisiana Pain Specialists offers several nonsurgical options that can effectively relieve your TMJ-related pain. They may recommend:
Botox relaxes tight jaw muscles.
Steroids reduce inflammation and relieve the pain associated with arthritis and inflamed nerves and other soft tissues.
These injections quickly relax tight jaw muscles.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and prolotherapy injections accelerate healing in damaged TMJ tissues.
Nerve blocks such as a sphenopalatine ganglion or mandibular nerve block stop pain messages from reaching your brain.
If you need help with TMJ disorder pain, call Louisiana Pain Specialists or book an appointment online today.