Although you may have been suffering with TMJ symptoms for a long time, TMJ treatment can alleviate your symptoms and prevent further damage to your jaw, your joint, and your teeth. There are many TMJ treatment options, and finding the best one for you requires careful diagnosis and planning.
Although this page details many different approaches to TMJ treatment, the only way to find out which option is right for you is in consultation with one of our TMJ dentists. If you live in Tarrytown, New York please call
Start with Home Care
When your jaw pain and other TMJ symptoms first surface, you might try basic home care to start. The goal is to try to alleviate swelling and reduce muscle tension so that components that have been displaced can ease their way back into place.
Try to avoid talking excessively for a few days. Switch to a diet of soft foods for the short term. This can help rest your tired muscles.
You can also take over-the-counter pain medication, but use it carefully. Unless instructed by a doctor, don’t take more than the recommended dose on the label.
Apply heat to tired and achy muscles. This can help the muscles relax. Apply cold to areas where there’s swelling, as this can reduce swelling.
If symptoms persist for more than seven days or seem to get worse with home care, you should talk to a doctor or neuromuscular dentist about TMJ treatment. Even if home care seems effective, talk to a doctor or neuromuscular dentist if symptoms recur.
Proper Diagnosis for Proper Care
When you come to Advanced Dentistry of Tarrytown, our neuromuscular dentists will evaluate your temporomandibular joint, your muscles, and other components of your jaw system. Computerized jaw tracking, amplified joint sounds, and measurements of your muscle energy will tell us the exact state of your jaw and what treatments are most likely to be effective.
TENS for Relief and Diagnosis
Part of the diagnostic process is treatment with TENS, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation, a kind of electric massage. This helps to relax your jaw muscles so they can unlearn bad adaptations to a bad bite.
For many people, though, this is also therapeutic. Relaxing your jaw muscles can lead to relief of jaw pain and other symptoms. Although relief is temporary, repeating treatment regularly can lead to long-term relief.
Orthotics, also called bite splints, are like a mouthguard that is designed to hold your jaw in its optimal position. Some people may wear their orthotic at night. Others may wear them all day. Sometimes an orthotic is a short-term treatment, and other times it is intended to be used for the rest of your life.
Dental TMJ Treatment
Sometimes your TMJ is so severe that we think you might benefit from dental treatments designed to either accomplish the same results as the orthotic without the need for wearing it. If your teeth are worn down or damaged, we might recommend treating those problems to restore the ability of your teeth to perform their vital function in supporting your jaw.
If your teeth are not in a position that allows your jaw to work efficiently and rest comfortably, we might use orthodontics to achieve a better alignment.
Surgical treatment of TMJ should be considered a last resort. TMJ surgery has serious risks and it’s irreversible.
However, if you have experienced considerable damage to your jaw joint, surgery may be the best option.