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TMJ/TMD Treatment: Who Treats TMJ

If you’re experiencing pain your jaw, you may be suffering from a TMJ/TMD(temporomandibular joint) disorder. TMJ is an orofacial pain condition that causes disfunction in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement.

Selecting the right TMJ treatment depends on the severity and nature of your TMJ disorder. Both doctors and dentists can diagnose and treat minor symptoms of TMJ. If you have a severe case, you should seek treatment from a certified TMJ specialist for the best results.

If you suspect that you have TMJ, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Early intervention prevents TMJ disorders from becoming permanent (chronic). Chronic TMJ can lead to other complications, such as headaches.

Let’s explore the various healthcare providers who treat TMJ, and can help you on your journey to relief.

Doctors and Dentists who Treat TMJ

1. Dentists

Dentists are the first line of defense for TMJ treatment. They can help those experiencing early symptoms of TMJ and bruxism.

These experts know a lot about how the jaw works and can spot signs of TMJ disorder before they get worse. They identify and treat the symptoms of acute TMJ, offering treatments for early stage disorders.

If you have mild TMJ symptoms, start by seeing a dentist for an evaluation. They can refer you to other specialists if needed.

See a Dentist for TMJ if you need…

  • A TMJ Diagnosis: Dentists can diagnose and treat early and mild TMJ disorders. They provide referrals for complicated cases.
  • Immediate Care: Dental clinics are often more accessible than specialized medical facilities.

2. Orofacial Pain Specialists

If you’re experiencing a chronic or complicated case of TMJ, seek treatment from an orofacial pain specialist. Orofacial pain specialists completed additional education to become TMJ specialists. They offer the best treatment for TMJ.

Orofacial pain specialists focus exclusively on the treatment of facial pain conditions, such as TMJ, headaches, and sleep apnea. They are highly experienced at identifying and treating multiple areas that contribute

chronic TMJ cases are best treated by orofacial pain specialists

to TMJ disorders. They can also recognize things that make TMJ worse, such as related disorders and lifestyle factors.

These TMJ specialists can provide comprehensive treatment plans tailored to individual needs.

See an Orofacial Pain Specialist for TMJ if…

  • Complicated TMJ: They have extensive experiencing diagnosing and treating complicated TMJ cases.
  • Multiple Symptoms: If you have headaches, trouble sleeping, or facial pain, their treatments consider all aspects of the problem.
  • High Success Rate: OFPs have a high success rate treating TMJ  that hasn’t responded to previous treatments. Their treatment approach is highly targeted, which leads to effective TMJ treatment.

3. Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctors (ENTs)

ENTs can help if you’re experiencing TMJ and ear pain or related sinus issues. Although they don’t treat TMJ directly, ENTs can help rule out ear or sinus issues that could be the cause of TMJ.

They work with orofacial pain specialists to provide integral treatments for linked disorders.

See and ENT for TMJ if…

  • Ear/Sinus Pain: ENTs can rule out sinus and ear disorders that contribute to, or cause your pain. They might offer treatments that complement TMJ treatment, especially if there are sinus or ear issues involved.

4. Physical Therapists & Chiropractors

If you’re in need of support care for TMJ, your primary provider might refer you to a PT. Physical therapists can assist with exercises and therapies to strengthen and relax jaw muscles. This can improve joint function and decrease pain.

Chiropractic can be helpful when skeletal or spinal issue may be referring pain to the TMJ region. This is also a supportive care option.

See a Physical Therapist or Chripractor for TMJ for…

  • Non-Invasive Treatment: They offer exercise-based approaches that are non-invasive.
  • Spinal-related issues: you’re in need of support for associated back pain.

Seeking Help for TMJ

Living with TMJ pain is tough, but help is available. Seeking professional treatment for TMJ can significantly improve your quality of life. Remember, early intervention is crucial. The earlier you seek treatment, the better the outcome.

If you’re looking for a TMJ specialist in San Diego or Los Angeles, please reach out!