TMJ Syndrome

TMJ Syndrome services offered in Delray Beach, FL

TMJ Syndrome

The jaw pain that occurs with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is sometimes temporary. However, if you have severe or ongoing TMJ joint or jaw pain, Marcie Merson, MD, of Palm Beach Pain Institute in Delray Beach, Florida, can help. The pain medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation physician offers many pain management treatments for TMJ syndrome, customizing plans for long-term relief. Call the office or schedule your TMJ syndrome consultation online today.

What is TMJ syndrome?

TMJ syndrome is a type of TMJ disorder (TMD) and causes pain in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement.

Many people think TMJ and TMD are the same. However, TMJ is the abbreviation for the jaw joint ― temporomandibular joint. The TMJ connects the lower part of your jaw to your skull. It’s a hinge joint, allowing you to move your mouth up and down and side to side.

TMD is a condition that affects the joints, muscles, and ligaments of the jaw. 

TMJ syndrome is an acute or chronic pain condition of the jaw and joint.

What does TMJ syndrome feel like?

TMJ syndrome causes a wide range of symptoms. However, most people feel pain in the jaw that ranges from mild to severe. 

Other TMJ syndrome symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Facial pain
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Facial swelling
  • Tooth pain
  • Locking sensation at the joint

The syndrome may occur if you have a misaligned bite, grind your teeth, or have a previous injury to the jaw. Arthritis may also cause TMJ syndrome. 

When should I seek pain management for TMJ syndrome?

Some people with TMJ syndrome may have pain for only a short period of time. Dr. Merson recommends scheduling an appointment at Palm Beach Pain Institute if your jaw pain is ongoing, severe, or affects the movement of your mouth.

Dr. Merson conducts a thorough TMJ evaluation, reviewing symptoms and medical and dental history. She performs a physical exam, paying close attention to the jaw joints and looking for misalignments or imbalances. 

Additionally, Dr. Merson may order imaging studies to confirm or rule out the underlying cause of your symptoms.

What treatments help TMJ syndrome?

Treatment for TMJ syndrome depends on the severity of the pain and the underlying cause. Noninvasive treatments for TMJ syndrome include:

  • Heat and cold therapy
  • Soft diet
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Using an oral appliance when sleeping
  • Acupuncture

If noninvasive treatments fail to relieve your symptoms, Dr. Merson may recommend other interventions such as ultrasound therapy to reduce soreness and improve mobility, trigger point injections for pain relief, or Botox® injections to block pain signals.

Corrective dental care, biofeedback, and radiowave therapy are also treatment options for TMJ syndrome. Dr. Merson suggests surgery only in severe cases.

Call Palm Beach Pain Institute or book an appointment online today to learn more about pain management for TMJ syndrome.