Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) and TMJ Laser Treatment treatment - All You Need To Know
TMJ Laser Treatment a painless and effective way to relieve the pain from Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)
Temporomandibular dysfunction syndrome (TMD) is a common disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. TMD is a term used to describe many different types of disorders of the jaw joint, teeth, and jaw muscles, all of which cause pain, loss of movement, or nerve damage. It is a type of jaw pain that occurs when the muscles around the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) are weak. The onset of TMD can be sudden but is usually the result of years of pain or pain that first appears as an injury.
- What is the TMJ?
- What is Temporomandibular Dysfunction Syndrome?
- What is the most common cause of TMJ Syndrome?
- What are the symptoms of TMD?
- Can TMJ go away on its own?
- What happens if TMJ is left untreated?
- What are the treatments for TMJ Disorder?
- How to stop TMJ pain fast?
- How does Red Light Therapy treat TMD?
- What are the benefits of Red Light and Infrared therapy?
- How safe is low level laser therapy?
1. What is the TemporoMandibular Joint, or TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge that connects your lower jaw to your skull. It acts like a sliding hinge allowing you to chew, talk, laugh, and swallow. When the joint is misaligned, it can disrupt your day in terms of chewing, talking, eating, and sleeping.
TMJ disorders belong to a group of temporomandibular disorders, also called TMD. They are a group of conditions that cause pain in the jaw joint and jaw muscles. Common symptoms include jaw pain and headaches, but also can affect eating capabilities.
2. What is Temporomandibular Dysfunction Syndrome?
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome is a term used to describe an array of conditions that affect the muscles and joints of the face.
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome or TMJD is a fairly common condition, and symptoms can range from pain in the jaw to temporomandibular joint issues. It can cause unpleasant but not painful symptoms, such as popping or clicking noises in the jaw. Nevertheless, a small percentage of patients experience excessive jaw pain, which can be either on one side or both sides.
3. What is the most common cause of TMJ Syndrome?
The causes of TMJ syndrome remain unknown. Many people who experience jaw pain or daily headaches due to TMJ have never been diagnosed with a movement disorder (such as a TMJ disorder). Though it's often difficult to determine the exact cause, many people who suffer from jaw pain also experience bruxism, a clench or grind of the teeth, although there is also a large percentage of people who grind their teeth without TMJ problems as well.
TMJPDS is caused by a number of things coinciding together. For years it was believed that misalignment of jaw and teeth is a major cause, but new research has shown that this is not the case. Most of the discomfort comes from over-using your muscles and joints like:
- When you are stressed, worried, or depressed by some aspect of your life, you may clench your teeth.
- You may grind your teeth during the day or at nighttime.
- Overworking your jaw muscles by habits like finger and nails biting, constant chewing pencils and gum, holding the telephone between your neck and shoulder.
Causes of TMJ disorders include injury to the teeth or jaw, poor posture, stress, and arthritis.
4. What are the symptoms of TMD?
- Pain felt in the mouth, jaws or face.
- Neck aches.
- Frequent headaches.
- Crunching or clicking noises when you move the jaw.
- Muscle spasms in the jaw.
- Pain while biting, chewing or yawning.
- Difficulty chewing and swallowing food.
- Difficulty with opening and/or closing the mouth.
- Stiffness or locking of the jaw joint.
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5. Can TMJ go away on its own?
TMJPDS is a benign condition that does not cause any long-term damage. Symptom onset tends to be seasonal and occurs when you are anxious, making it one of the few disorders that tend to get better over time.
In most cases, the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders are not severe and temporary and are relieved by self-management or non-invasive treatments. In some cases, surgery may be required to provide relief from severe pain or disabilities.
6. What happens if TMJ is left untreated?
TMJ Disorder can seriously affect the lives of the people who suffer from it. Constant headaches, neck pain, and teeth grinding are just some of the common symptoms of a TMJ disorder influencing quality of life.
A study from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, San Diego shows that stress and sleep disturbance can cause long-term negative effects on your body like objective cognitive performance, apnea, insomnia. Sleep disturbance can also disrupt the way the body deals with stress hormones, leading to depression and anxiety.
While TMJ disorder may be associated with long-term conditions that affect general health and wellness, there is a concern about the potential for serious conditions, such as premature wear of teeth and gums, caused by grinding and clenching.
Lastly, some individuals who suffer from TMJ experience inner ear problems, such as noises (tinnitus), vertigo, and balance problems, so untreated TMJ disorder may have many unwanted consequences.
7. What are the treatments for TMJ Disorder?
There are many effective treatments for TMJ problems, however, no single cure exists. Studies have shown that up to 90% of people will get better simply by doing things such as exercising, changing diet, and using an orthodontic bite guard to reduce the tension of the jaw muscles.
Some TMJ disorders are self-limiting. They might go away without treatment, or they may respond well to a course of specific treatments. If you suffer from TMJ symptoms that persist despite the use of appropriate medications, doctor may recommend several different treatment options.
As a treatment option for TMJ disorders, these medications may help relieve the pain of TMJ disorders:
- Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories.
- Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA), and it's mainly used for depression. However, in low doses, this drug may also help with pain relief, bruxism control, and sleeplessness.
- Muscle relaxants help relieve pain caused by TMJ disorders created by muscle spasms (Botox, but is not currently an FDA-approved treatment for TMD).
Non Drug therapies for TMJ disorders include:
- Oral splints or mouth guards.
- Physical therapy - combining treatments such as jaw exercises to strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, and range of motion, ultrasound, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), and moist heat can help relieve discomfort caused by TMJ disorders.
- Counseling - teeth clenching and biting fingernails are common habits for many people, they can be avoided with the help of a professional therapist who will help to understand the triggers and avoid them.
- Surgical and other more complex procedures (in severe cases).
- TMJ Laser Treament aka. Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
- Trigger point acupuncture can sometimes be helpful.
8. How to stop TMJ pain fast?
Many symptoms of TMJ disorders can be relieved with home remedies and lifestyle changes. The best home remedies providing relief are:
- Ice bag to the affected area
- Over-the-counter (OTC) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve), and other pain relievers, including aspirin (Ecotrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol).
- Eating soft foods and avoiding chewing gum.
- Massaging or gentle stretching of the jaw and neck muscles (A doctor or physiotherapist can recommend a variety of stretches).
- Relaxation techniques to reduce and manage stress.
- Some essential oils (such as lavender, chamomile, sweet marjoram, and clary sage) may soothe the pain of TMJ.
- Red Light Therapy also known as TMJ Laser Treatment is a non-invasive, reversible, affordable option to treat temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain without the side effects of prescription medications or invasive treatments. It is proven to be more effective than ultrasounds (US) and transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS).
9. How does Red Light Therapy treat TMD?
Red Light and Infrared Therapy greatly improve tissue repair, pain, and inflammation reduction wherever the laser beam is applied by stimulating the body's own healing processes and speeding recovery because it works on a cellular level. Additionally, it increases the oxygen, glucose, and nutrients flow to the affected muscle, joint, or bone, reduces free radicals and oxidative stress. Through the cell metabolism increase, it greatly reduces the pain and heals the jaw disk's nerves.
PBM (photobiomodulation) works on the mitochondria’s level increasing in ATP production, which is the cell's energy currency necessary to repair itself. Anti-inflammatory effects are due to the reduction of histamine and acetylcholine levels in the blood. This is accomplished by inhibiting the release of bradykinin from mast cells and decreasing prostaglandins (PG) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2).
Studies have revealed that RLT can produce anti-inflammatory effects by reducing the inflammatory reaction and accelerating healing processes leading to faster resolution with the use of a 780nm IR laser at 225J/cm2 dose.
Another scientific research has demonstrated powerful results in increasing the remodeling and enhancing tissue repair in TMJ of rats with induced arthritis with the use of Photobiomodulation.
Photobiomodulation therapy is proven to be an effective short-term therapeutic modality for myofascial TMD pain. It is non-invasive, easy to apply with no systemic side effects. Nevertheless, its long-term effect and its effect on different subtypes of TMD need further investigation.
10. What are the benefits of Red Light and Infrared therapy?
Many terms have been used to describe this treatment, such as light phototherapy, laser phototherapy, low-level laser therapy (LLLT), cold laser therapy, soft laser therapy, laser biostimulation, TMJ laser treatment, and red light therapy. All these terms are considered to be part of photobiomodulation (PMB).
Red Light Therapy accelerates healing and greatly reduces long-lasting pain and inflammation without the medications. It can improve the health of your damaged jaw disk helping to improve range of the movements and physical function. Because it is a non-invasive and non-surgical treatment - it is safe and can be used at all ages without side effects and downtime. As it is pain-free, it can be applied to very sore muscles and joints without causing further trauma, speeding up recovery time.
11. How safe is low level laser therapy?
Red Light and Infrared Therapy is safe, pain-free, simple and comfortable in application. It will not burn, irritate, or leave any unwanted marks on the skin or surrounding tissue. The great advantage is reducing the need for anti-inflammatory medications. Treatments take about 10 minutes, and you can do it at your home, or wherever you are thanks to ultra portable and powerful Rubicure Light.