It is estimated that 12% of people experience, or have experienced, some form of pain that can be directly attributed to TMJ or TMD concerns. It is interesting to note that more women are impacted by TMJ discomfort than men. This post covers TMJ and TMD concerns and pain, along with Teledentistry and how it can help.
The growing practice of getting a virtual dental consultation from the comfort of your home is safe and convenient. You may be wondering, however, if it is possible to address TMJ pain using a teledentistry system. It is important to note that a live dental chat consultation for TMJ discomfort should be considered a beneficial first step in the treatment process. A local dentist or oral surgeon will need to complete a thorough dental exam and also take several dental x-rays of the jaw condyle region of your mouth to formulate an effective treatment plan.
So just how can a dental chat about TMJ pain help? We’ve gathered the seven TMJ dental questions that we hear most often about TMJ pain and related concerns.
· Discomfort or pain in the ear, jaw, joints of the jaw, and the facial muscles
· Chronic headaches and pain in the temple
· Unexplained throat pain
· Pain when opening up the jaw
· Pain when chewing
· Pain in the arm, back, and shoulder
· Feeling a locking sensation in the jaw
· Hearing popping, clicking, and grating sounds when opening and closing the mouth
Restricted opening of the mouth. If you open your mouth and measure the distance between the tip of your front teeth, using a ruler, you will find that it measures around 5 cm. If the mouth opening distance measures less than 5 cm, and you experience difficulty eating, then it is the right time to reach out to a dentist.
To clarify, two possible factors could be responsible for the limiting of your jaw opening. It could be an issue with your TMJ or it could be the muscles used for chewing. Both of these concerns can be managed virtually, except for a few patients who may require extra work at an appointment with their primary physicians. Patients with systemic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, and other medical conditions usually require collaboration between dentists and rheumatologists.
Many people are starting to get their dental TMJ or TMD Dental Consult done online - to get some kind of idea of what is going on? Using TMJ TeleDentistry consulting online to find out the orofacial pain online information or various TMJ options is a great idea. Of course, you as the dental patient will still need to be seen in the dental office and have dental imaging x-rays, etc.
It hurts to chew. This is a common TMJ complaint. However, your virtual consultation will not be able to determine that TMJ is the base reason for the discomfort unless it can be determined that the pain is not from concerns about the teeth or the composition of the jaw. Through your virtual dental examination, the dentist will guide you to examine your own jaw. The online dentist will cover three steps during the consultation.
a. How does it feel when you open and close your mouth?
b. How does it feel when you open and close your mouth?
c. How much can you open your mouth?
Your dentist may ask you to observe the range of motion in your jaw and press on your cheeks and around your neck to identify the painful sites. If the TMJ problem is suspected to be caused by an advanced inflammatory concern, an MRI or a CT may be ordered.
During your consultation, the dentist will ask you to palpate the face and neck to locate the source of pain. Upon identification of the painful muscles, your online dentist will provide you with physical therapy and muscle stretching techniques. This is a basic treatment that can prove to be incredibly effective. In addition, if there is an overuse of the facial muscles, including nail-biting and clenching of the teeth, a stabilization splint can be one of the treatment options that are offered. The splint not only protects teeth from clenching but also helps to relax muscles.
4. What is the difference between TMJ pain and tooth pain?
The majority of the time, your nerves will be able to tell you if it is a tooth responsible for the pain. Tooth pain is quite often triggered by food and drinks. It can, of course, be spontaneous. Pain in the teeth can be a dull pain, acute pain, or spontaneous pain focused on a specific tooth. But, TMJ nerves will indicate that the pain is located next to your ear, around the cheek, and sometimes extended down to the neck area.
Muscle pain around the face can be related to TMJ discomfort. Relying on nerves alone isn’t always ideal, particularly when discomfort in the back teeth can refer to jaw pain and tooth pain, and also make it difficult to open your mouth. Working with your online dentist can help to recognize the source of your discomfort, and help to take you to the next step in your dental consultation.
5. Local TMJ Question Online - How can I describe my TMJ pain, using teledentistry live video dentist chat?
As is expected, the words that you use to describe the dental problem are an important part of diagnosing TMJ virtually using video tel dentists. Try to explain in as great a detail as possible, covering some important factors that’ll help with the diagnostic part of your consultation.
Cover things that include, how the pain started, how long ago did the pain start, what tends to trigger the pain, where is the pain located, the severity of the pain, and whether is there anything that tends to help reduce the pain. Also include whether you have any current medical problems, along with any medications that you may be taking.
6. How can TMJ be treated?
The treatment for your TMJ will depend largely on your unique medical history, and on the severity of the inflammation. Some of the commonly offered treatment solutions could include the following.
Patient education. Your dentist will recommend that you avoid the overuse of the muscles used for chewing. mastication. This is considered to be step one in treating either muscle tension or TMJ problems. Try to avoid clenching teeth, chewing hard food, and also supporting the chin while yawning.
Analgesics. Your dentist may recommend medication if the pain is severe. Topical anti-inflammatory creams, including NSAIDs and corticosteroids, are good options for patients who are unable to tolerate oral medications.
Antidepressants. There is research that indicates that the use of tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can be partially effective for muscle pain around the TMJ.
Office-based treatments. Hydrocollator is a cloth-covered bag that is warmed in a stainless steel heating unit. This cloth bag is applied to the painful area. It will increase blood flow and help to reduce pain.
If your TMJ disorder is causing you issues with your bite, which is the term used for how your teeth come together, then you may require orthodontic treatment or other types of restorative dental work. Severe cases cannot be diagnosed or treated using teledentistry. However, the goal of teledentistry is to offer the least invasive treatment options possible, to determine the severity of the condition.
Your teledentistry appointment will start with the creation of an account, followed by a free dental appointment. A small fee will be assessed at the end of the appointment. After the dental diagnosis, the dentist will offer physical therapy instructions. It is important to note that the use of analgesics or anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medications is an option if the pain is severe.
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Do you have questions about TMJ discomfort? Perhaps you have questions about jaw-popping? You can post your TMJ Problem related local dentist questions online at dentalchat.com, or on the DentalChat app.