TMJ Treatment

TMJ treatment involves any form of therapy designed to alleviate TMJ symptoms.  In mild cases of TMJ disorder, home remedies can be effective, but in most cases, medical treatment is required to relieve TMJ pain.

Understanding TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder, which stands for temporomandibular joint disorder, is a condition of the nerves and muscles in the jaw and can be the result of injuring the temporomandibular joint, which connects the lower jaw to the skull.  The exact cause of a TMJ disorder can often be difficult to determine as it can be a combination of problems such as a jaw injury or arthritis.  There are some who experience TMJ pain that also have a tendency to grind or clench their teeth.

TMJ Symptoms: Do I Need TMJ Treatment?

Some of the more common TMJ symptoms include pain and tenderness in the jaw, a constant aching pain in the ear and around it, a throbbing pain in your face, or a locking of the join in your jaw which makes it difficult to open or close your mouth.  One might also experience problems with chewing.  A TMJ disorder might also cause a grating sensation when chewing or opening the mouth that is often accompanied by a clicking sound.

In most cases, TMJ treatment is recommended if you are experiencing problems chewing and are having trouble opening and closing your mouth.  If you are experiencing constant tenderness or pain in your jaw, we are experienced and certified to provide TMJ treatment.

TMJ Treatment Options

There are a variety of TMJ treatment options available, but we will usually begin with a more conservative, careful approach.  Thus, we will first suggest jaw rest, which can help heal the temporomandibular joint.  You will have to limit your diet to soft foods and apply warm compresses regularly.  We will also prescribe pain medication if necessary during the process.  You will be shown how to perform stretching and relaxation exercises, which can significantly improve your condition.

We will also fit you with a bite plate or oral splint, which is a plastic guard that goes over your teeth.  It’s similar to the mouth guard that you see professional boxers or sport athletes wear and is designed to reduce tooth grinding and clenching, which will ease muscle tension.  In many cases, the bite plate is highly effective, but all the reasons it works are not quite understood.

If this more conservative approach proves ineffective for TMJ pain relief, then we will try other options.  One such TMJ treatment is to wash the joint out.  This is a simple procedure performed under local anesthetic.  It involves inserting two needles into the joint, with one needle attached to a syringe that contains cleansing fluid.  The solution is injected through one need and removed with the other.  Many people find their pain goes away almost immediately with this procedure.  Painkillers or cortisone can be injected into the joint as well, and these often provide relief.

If you have an uneven bite, we might have to adjust or reshape some of your teeth to fix the problem.  The precise form of TMJ treatment will depend on your personal situation, which is why you should come see us as soon as possible.  There’s no need for you to live in constant pain when we can help alleviate it and improve the quality of rest you receive.