What Does an Oral Medicine Professional Do?

Oral Medicine New Palestine, IN

Some of the most common painful or dysfunctional issues involving the face, mouth and jaw should not go untreated but should be evaluated by an oral medicine professional. This specialty branch of dentistry helps address these issues in patients who have developed complications due to behavioral patterns, medical and dental history, or hereditary conditions. In general, oral medicine professionals evaluate a patient and help provide non-surgical treatment options for managing their individual situation.

Conditions treated by oral medicine professionals

Some of the most common issues that are treated by a doctor of oral medicine include

  • TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder
  • Chronic pain of the orofacial nerves and joints
  • Sleep apnea
  • Salivary gland issues
  • Bruxism or grinding and clenching of the teeth and jaw
  • Oral complications from other diseases or medical treatments

Oral medicine professionals are also trained to help treat patients with chronic canker sores and ulcers, certain forms of oral cancer, and nerve pain in the mouth and face. At a preliminary visit, new patients can expect a physical examination and a discussion with the doctor about their current condition. It is possible that X-rays and more in-depth evaluations may also be required based on the length and severity of symptoms.

Treatment options for craniofacial pain and other conditions

While it is true that some issues of the face and jaw require surgery, many can be addressed through more non-invasive methods first. In some cases, patients experience relief or even recovery with the proper treatment plan.

At-home approaches

A craniofacial pain specialist may often recommend medications to help manage pain, including prescription and over-the-counter options. Patients may also be instructed to change eating habits, practice a series of stretches on a regular basis and ice the affected areas often. Those with chronic dry mouth or salivary gland issues may utilize at-home rinses or treatments. In some situations, the doctor may recommend the use of certain devices, such as night guards for bruxism or sleep apnea devices.

Professional therapies and treatments

Depending on the type of craniofacial issue, patients may need more intentional intervention methods to treat pain or dysfunction of the mouth, face and jaw. Physical therapy can be helpful in relieving pain and retraining the affected joints and muscles to move correctly. Psychological counseling and certain types of behavioral therapy may be needed for those whose conditions have developed as a result of trauma or unhealthy stress management. Some in-office treatments can help provide relief for issues that cannot be addressed at home.

Conclusion

Individuals who suffer from any type of pain or dysfunction related to the craniofacial area should see an oral medicine professional for evaluation and treatment. In many situations, patients can find significant relief from common painful problems, including TMJ or bruxism, with both at-home and professional treatment options. With a well-rounded plan, it is possible to manage and even recover from some of these issues without invasive surgery.

Request an appointment here: https://www.indycraniofacial.com or call Indiana Craniofacial Center PC at (317) 283-1900 for an appointment in our Indianapolis office.

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