TMJ Doctor Thousand Oaks
When the TMJ, also known as the temporomandibular joint, and the facial muscles surrounding the joint malfunction or become irritated, it is known as a TMJ disorder or TMD. TMD tends to range in severity from slight discomfort when biting down on hard food to shooting jaw pain and debilitating headaches. Most problems with the TMJ subside with time. More severe cases of TMD may require the assistance of our TMJ doctor in Thousand Oaks.
There is technically no certified specialty for treating TMD in either the dental or medical fields. Health care providers like our Thousand Oaks TMJ doctor who are familiar with and trained to treat pain conditions involving muscle, bones, and joint make the best type of TMJ doctors. Complex TMD cases may require the involvement of several medical specialists.
Thousand Oaks TMJ Doctor
Self-care provides relief for most TMD sufferers. These at-home practices include:
• Eating soft foods
This takes the pressure off your jaw joint. Do it for a few weeks to give your TMJ adequate resting time.
• Hot or cold applications
Be careful not to burn yourself when applying heat, and be sure not to apply an ice pack for longer than 15 minutes at a time.
• Avoid making large jaw movements
Try not to yawn, speak or sing loudly, or chew gum while treating your TMD.
Other treatment methods for TMJ disorder include:
• Pain medications
Many people find relief from TMD by taking anti-inflammatory drugs and over-the-counter pain medications like Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Occasionally, TMD sufferers find relief from muscle relaxants, sedatives, or antidepressants.
For some patients, certain non-pharmaceutical therapies provide relief from TMD:
• Bite guards/oral splints
This is the most common treatment for TMD. These devices are made of plastic and can be soft or firm. They are designed to be worn over the teeth. Our TMJ doctor in Thousand Oaks recommends patients wear their device while they sleep.
• Physical therapy and counseling
Jaw exercises and ultrasound occasionally help ease TMJ related pain. Counseling helps many TMD patients by addressing the underlying cause of the disorder.
TMJ surgery remains very risky with no certainty of success. Schedule a consultation with our Thousand Oaks TMJ doctor to explore your treatment options.
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