In some cases, TMJ disorders can go away without treatment. However, if your symptoms persist, we may recommend a variety of treatment options, often more than one to be done at the same time.
OTC or over the counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories typically relieve TMJ pain. We can check with your primary in severe cases if stronger non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), aren’t enough.
These types of drugs are sometimes used for a few days or weeks to help relieve pain caused by TMJ disorders.
Nondrug therapies for TMJ disorder include:
Oral splints or mouth guards (occlusal appliances). Often, people with jaw pain will benefit from wearing a soft or firm device inserted over their teeth, but the reasons why these devices are beneficial are not well-understood.
Physical therapy. Treatments might include ultrasound, moist heat and ice — along with exercises to stretch and strengthen jaw muscles.
Counseling. Education and counseling can help you understand the factors and behaviors that may aggravate your pain, so you can avoid them. Examples include teeth clenching or grinding, leaning on your chin, or biting fingernails.
When a common approach method doesn’t help, we might suggest procedures such as:
Arthrocentesis (ahr-throe-sen-TEE-sis) is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the insertion of small needles into the joint so that fluid can be irrigated through the joint to remove debris and inflammatory byproducts.
Injections. In some people, corticosteroid injections into the joint may be helpful. Infrequently, injecting botulinum toxin type A (Botox, others) into the jaw muscles used for chewing may relieve pain associated with TMJ disorders.
In some cases, arthroscopic surgery can be as effective for treating various types of TMJ disorders as open-joint surgery. A small thin tube (cannula) is placed into the joint space, an arthroscope is then inserted, and small surgical instruments are used for surgery. TMJ arthroscopy has fewer risks and complications than open-joint surgery does, but it has some limitations as well.
Modified condylotomy (kon-dih-LOT-uh-mee) addresses the TMJ indirectly, with surgery on the mandible, but not in the joint itself. It may be helpful for treatment of pain and if locking is experienced.
If your jaw pain does not resolve with more-conservative treatments and it appears to be caused by a structural problem in the joint, your doctor or dentist may suggest open-joint surgery (arthrotomy) to repair or replace the joint. However, open-joint surgery involves more risks than other procedures do and should be considered very carefully, discussing the pros and cons.
Whether your dental needs are a complete exam and cleaning, a full-mouth restoration, or anything in between, we promise to provide you with exceptional care as we enhance the natural beauty of your smile. Below are just some of the many procedures and services we regularly provide to our patients - with a gentle touch, and stunning results. Your smile is our first priority, and we will give you something to smile about. If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today. We look forward to providing you with the personal care you deserve.View all Dentistry Services