Orofacial Pain And TMJ Dysfunction

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Pain in the mouth or face is very common, but, most of the times, people who suffer from this problem don´t know a professional who is a specialist in this area, able to provide a treatment that really relieves the pain.
  
The dental specialist in Orofacial Pain has the knowledge to diagnose and treat different conditions, such as: TMJ Dysfunction, bruxism, post-surgery or post-implant neuralgias (nerve pain), burning mouth, etc.
  
TMJ is the acronym for a joint we have in the face, close to the ear, which opens and closes the mouth. When this joint or the muscles that are connected don´t work well, then some symptoms can occur, like:
  

  • Pain in the facial muscles (it can be confused or combined with migraine)
  • Chronic headaches
  • Pain in the TMJ (it might feel like an earache)

  

  • Clicks or sounds when the mouth is opened
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Uncomfortable chewing

  
In most of the cases the treatment is clinical – surgeries or other radical procedures are not necessary. In our office the treatment includes some different therapies, such as exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles, bite splint and devices that minimize pain and relax the muscles, such like laser and TENS.
  
Besides this, I take a long time to explain diagnosis (so the patients can understand what do they have), and I give counselling on what they can do at home to decrease the pain. This is very important to involve and to motivate the patients in the treatment and, as a consequence, to achieve better outcomes.
  
In Brazil nowadays there are more than 400,000 people with TMJ Dysfunction. You are not alone! But, relax, you are in good hands!