Non-surgical TMJ Treatment: Treat Underlying Causes for Lasting Relief
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are often caused by a misalignment in your jaws. This improper position can lead to severe and far-reaching issues. Many patients undergo surgical treatment to relieve symptoms. However, these approaches can be extremely invasive, may only treat the side effects, and require significant time for recovery.
Dr. Jon Marc Van Slate believes in providing the most conservative care possible. For this reason, he offers non-surgical TMJ treatment at his Houston, TX, office. He aims to relieve the symptoms associated with TMJ disorders (TMD) by gently treating the underlying cause.
Non-surgical TMJ treatment approaches are conservative, based on the exact needs of each patient, and are general procedures available without the recovery time needed after surgery.
TMD and Surgical Treatment
TMD causes jaw disfunction, and it can result in a range of symptoms. In some cases, TMD can occur because the temporomandibular joints themselves are damaged. Often, the cushioning disc inside can slip out of place, leading to discomfort and a popping or clicking sound. In other cases, the structure of the joint may be sound, but the nearby muscles and ligaments become inflamed.
Surgical TMJ treatment is very invasive and may only treat the symptoms of the problem. A surgery may seek to remove and replace the displaced jaw disk without treating the cause for the displacement. Surgery can also realign the jaws with irreversible effects that can cause significant damage. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research advises against undergoing any surgical treatment for TMJ disorders.
How Non-surgical TMJ Treatment Differs
The vast majority of TMD patients will benefit from non-surgical care. These approaches are conservative, based on the exact needs of each patient, and are general procedures available without the recover time needed after surgery. With progressive treatment, non-surgical methods are able to provide relief for symptoms by treating the underlying cause in stages. If pain and discomfort are caused by misaligned jaws that place pressure on the joint, an oral appliance can shift jaw alignment for a proper placement that does not stress the joint. Oral appliances can also prevent clenching and grinding of teeth that can both cause and result from TMJ disorders.