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Treatments for Jaw conditions

Treatments for Jaw conditions:

The first step in treating jaw conditions is prevention. This includes seeking regular medical and dental care throughout the lifetime so that a licensed health care provider can evaluate symptoms, the risks of developing jaw conditions, and perform routine tests and screenings for such diseases as periodontal disease, impacted Wisdom teeth, and oral cancer, which can develop into jawbone cancer. These prevention measures greatly increase the chances of catching these and other jaw conditions at their earliest, most curable stage. Prevention also minimizes the risks of developing complications.

Treatment plans for jaw conditions are individualized depending on the specific disease or condition, the presence of coexisting diseases, the age and medical history of the patient, and other factors. Treatment generally involves a multifaceted plan that addresses the jaw conditions, minimizes pain and discomfort, improves chewing, and decreases the risk of developing serious complications, such as tooth destruction.

Dental conditions that cause jaw conditions may be treated with such measures as properly fitting dentures, regular dental cleanings that include ultrasonic scaling, and oral hygiene. Periodontal surgery and root canal may be necessary in some cases.

An impacted wisdom tooth is treated by tooth extraction. Bruxism and temporomandibular joint disorders can be treated with the use of a night guard for the mouth.

Jawbone cancer may be treated with a combination of chemotherapy, surgery, and/or radiation therapy.

Medications used to treat jaw conditions may include pain medications and antibiotics if a bacterial infection, such as tooth abscess, has developed.

Treatment List for Jaw conditions

The list of treatments mentioned in various sources for Jaw conditions includes the following list. Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment or change in treatment plans.

  • Relaxation therapy
  • Stress-reduction techniques
  • Soft foods
  • Moist heat packs
  • Avoiding extreme jaw movements
  • Physical therapy
  • Gentle muscle stretching
  • Short-term muscle relaxants
  • Short-term anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Oral splint
  • More serious treatments that are not necessarily reversible:
    • Jaw injections
    • TMJ tissue removal
    • Jaw bone surgery (orthognathic surgery)
  • Mouth guards to prevent clenching of teeth
  • Splints, braces, or slings
  • Medications including sleep aids, NSAIDs, Tylenol
  • Botox injections to relieve muscle spasm

Jaw conditions: Is the Diagnosis Correct?

The first step in getting correct treatment is to get a correct diagnosis. Differential diagnosis list for Jaw conditions may include:

Hidden causes of Jaw conditions may be incorrectly diagnosed:

Jaw conditions: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research all specialists including ratings, affiliations, and sanctions.

Hospital statistics for Jaw conditions:

These medical statistics relate to hospitals, hospitalization and Jaw conditions:

  • Hospitalization statistics in Australia:
    • 0.84% (33,302) of hospital episodes were for diseases of oral cavity, salivary glands and jaw in public hospitals in Australia 2001-02 (Australian Hospital Data, AIHW, Australia, 2001-02)
    • 83% of hospitalisations for diseases of oral cavity, salivary glands and jaw were single day episodes in public hospitals in Australia 2001-02 (Australian Hospital Data, AIHW, Australia, 2001-02)
    • 81% of hospitalisations in public hospitals for diseases of oral cavity, salivary glands and jaw were by public patients in Australia 2001-02 (Australian Hospital Data, AIHW, Australia, 2001-02)
    • 19% of hospitalisations in public hospitals for diseases of oral cavity, salivary glands and jaw were by private patients in Australia 2001-02 (Australian Hospital Data, AIHW, Australia, 2001-02)
  • more hospital information...»

Hospitals & Medical Clinics: Jaw conditions

Research quality ratings and patient incidents/safety measures for hospitals and medical facilities in specialties related to Jaw conditions:

Hospital & Clinic quality ratings »

Choosing the Best Treatment Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Jaw conditions, on hospital and medical facility performance and surgical care quality:

Discussion of treatments for Jaw conditions:

TMD-TMJ (Jaw Disorders): NWHIC (Excerpt)

Treatment is usually conservative and reversible, and may require many different medical specialists. Occasionally injections and surgery are necessary for chronic pain and disability. (Source: excerpt from TMD-TMJ (Jaw Disorders): NWHIC)

TMD-TMJ (Jaw Disorders): NWHIC (Excerpt)

Researchers believe that most people who have clicking or popping of the TMJ probably have a displaced disc within the joint. If the displaced disc causes no pain or locking of the jaw, then typically no treatment is required. (Source: excerpt from TMD-TMJ (Jaw Disorders): NWHIC)

TMD-TMJ (Jaw Disorders): NWHIC (Excerpt)

Since most of the discomfort of TMD is temporary, treatment is usually conservative and reversible. Conservative non-surgical treatments do no invade the tissues of the face, jaw, or joint. Reversible treatments do not cause permanent, or irreversible changes to the position of the jaws or teeth. Researchers strongly recommend using the most conservative, reversible treatments possible before considering any invasive treatments.

Simple self-care practices such as special relaxation and stress-reduction techniques can be used in order to help patients relieve the pain that is often a TMD symptom. Eating soft foods, applying moist heat packs, and avoiding extreme jaw movements are useful measures that can help ease TMD symptoms. Other conservative, reversible treatments include physical therapy that focuses on gentle muscle stretching, and the short-term use of muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs. Occasionally, a psychiatric/psychological or neurological condition is believed to be the cause of TMD, and then referrals to the appropriate clinicians are recommended.

In some cases, an oral appliance, known as a splint, may be necessary. The splint is a plastic mouth guard that fits over the upper or lower teeth. It acts to help reduce clenching or grinding of the teeth, thereby easing muscle tension. It should not be used for a long period of time, nor should it increase pain, or cause permanent changes in a person's bite.

Other less conservative treatments of TMD include injecting medications directly into the joint or affected muscles, removing scar or destroyed tissue from the TMJ, or conducting surgery on the jaw bone to improve the relationship between upper and lower teeth (orthognathic surgery). Surgical treatments are often irreversible and as with most surgical procedures, there are usually significant risks involved. Surgery may result in an increased level pf pain, discomfort, or cause permanent damage to the jaw and TMJ. Typically, conservative therapy is recommended prior to any surgical procedure. Only if multiple conservative therapies have failed should surgery be considered.

Prior to any surgery, it is strongly advised that one clearly understands the reason for this type of treatment, its benefits, and possible risks. Furthermore, one should seek at lease a second opinion prior to consenting to any possibly irreversible surgical procedure. (Source: excerpt from TMD-TMJ (Jaw Disorders): NWHIC)

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