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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Temporomandibular Joint Disorders: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Bones, Joints, and Muscles

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Alternate Names : Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome, TMJ, Costen's Syndrome

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Initial treatment of temporomandibular joint disorders involves identifying actions that cause symptoms to get worse, such as clenching or grinding the teeth. Many people may not realize they are doing these things.

Some other measures used to treat TMJ are as follows:

  • application of heat or cold
  • massage
  • medicines to relax the muscles
  • pain medicines
  • physical therapy, which may involve mild jaw exercises
  • relaxation therapy
  • a soft diet that avoids chewy foods
  • stress management
  • If these treatments fail, referral to a dentist who treats TMJ may be needed. Special bite appliances may be used. In severe cases of TMJ that do not respond to other treatments, surgery to realign the jaw is sometimes helpful. Joint replacement or a joint implant may be considered.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Pain medicines may cause stomach upset and allergic reactions. Medicines to relax the muscles may cause drowsiness or allergic reactions. Other side effects depend on the drug used. Surgery may cause bleeding, infection, or allergic reaction to anesthesia. Surgery does not always cure TMJ.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    If symptoms go away, no further treatment is generally needed for the temporomandibular joint disorders. The person should take care to avoid factors that may cause another episode of TMJ, such as teeth grinding.

    How is the condition monitored?

    Symptoms and a physical exam are used to monitor temporomandibular joint disorders. Sometimes, X-rays may be used to monitor the condition. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Temporomandibular Joint Disorders: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 08/20/01

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