If you suffer from TMJ symptoms, you know how uncomfortable and painful the disorder can be, and you’re probably looking for relief. Here are a few treatment options to consider if you want to avoid surgery.
Certain medications can provide relief for some patients. These include painkillers, muscle relaxants, and tricyclic antidepressants. It may take some work with your doctor to find the right medication or amount for you, but it can be worth it. Alternatively, over-the-counter pain medicines such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be sufficient for some patients.
Oral Splints & Mouth Guards
A mouth guard known as a stabilization splint is a soft or hard device made of plastic that is worn to cover some or all of the teeth. They are safe to use as they don’t create any permanent changes in your bite and are not painful to use.
Physical therapy for TMJ involves exercises that are meant to work the jaw muscles in order to strengthen and stretch them. Breathing and posture may also be improved. In addition to jaw exercises, heat therapy can be used to help improve the blood circulation in the jaw. Ice therapy, massage, and ultrasound therapy are some other examples of physical therapy used for TMJ.
TMJ can be connected to stress, so for some, simply learning some relaxation techniques can help relieve symptoms. Many of these exercises and techniques can be self-guided, but professional guidance can also be helpful. In addition, specific massage techniques, progressive muscular relaxation (PMR), and meditation can also help.
This treatment for TMJ involves injecting a solution into a deep muscle located in the jaw in order to reduce pain and tenderness. The injections can also help to relax muscles and improve the functioning of the mouth and jaw. It should be noted, however, that this treatment is not currently approved by the FDA as a treatment for TMJ.
To choose the best TMJ treatment for you, talk to your dentist.