The temporomandibular joint – or TMJ – connects your jaw to your skull. If this joint gets damaged or injured, it can lead to painful disorders. It may also make it difficult for a patient to chew food properly. Any disorders or injuries to this joint can be treated by a specialized doctor called an otolaryngologist. You might know him better as a doctor that treats the ears, nose, and throat. For more information on TMJ problems, read more here.
Who treats TMJ?
What kind of doctor would treat TMJ? Any disorders or injuries to this joint can be treated by a specialized doctor called an otolaryngologist. You might know him better as a doctor that treats the eyes, ears, nose, and throat.
What other doctors treat TMJ?
Any physician can be able to at least diagnose your TMJ. Dentists also have a trained eye to diagnose TMJ. However, when it comes to the actual treatment of the disorder, you will usually have to be referred to an otolaryngologist.
The diagnosis is made by having the doctor or dentist examine the five muscles that control the jaw. If they determine that the cause of your pain will be from one or more of these muscles, they will pinpoint TMJ-related disorders as the cause.
What are the usual signs of TMJ Syndrome?
Look for one or more of these signs of TMJ disorders. Since this joint is located on the face, it is also possible for you to feel pain around your eyes, forehead, ears and in your neck.
- Jaw pain. This is one very obvious sign of TMJ damage.
- Jaw clicking and popping. You might have a TMJ injury if you hear any sound that should otherwise not be present, especially when you chew or move your jaw.
- Ear pain. Pain in the ears is also a sign, along with cracking noises in your ears that are out of the ordinary.
- Popping sounds in the ears. Concerning ear pain, you may have TMJ if you hear any unusual popping noises.
- Soreness in the joint. If your joint is sore, or if you feel any suddenly muscle spasms, it can be a sign that there is damage to the TMJ.
- Locking of the jaw. If the damage to the TMJ is severe, you may experience lockjaw.
There are many home treatments for TMJ injuries and disorders, such as applying cold packs to the affected area, buying over-the-counter medicines to manage pain and other forms of first aid.
If your condition does not improve, schedule an appointment with your doctor so that you can be diagnosed and given proper treatment. If you do not respond to home remedies, do not be alarmed.
There are many types of medical intervention that can be used to cure TMJ disorders. Doctors can recommend physical therapy, acupuncture, and even Botox to remedy the situation. In very severe cases, dental surgery may be necessary.
Your doctor who treats TMJ can prescribe medical treatments that can effectively put a stop to these disorders.