When it comes to TMJ treatments, conservative is the key word, and there are a number of treatment options available. Our West Ridge TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dentist will determine proper treatment options during your initial consultation. At Family Care Dental Group, our dentists have expertise in evaluating jaw-to-bite relationships, and are experienced with proper treatment procedures such as occlusal equilibration and the use of intra-oral appliances. Most TMJ treatments are simple and can be done at home, without the need for surgery. The most severe cases may require treatment with splints, mouth guards or other traditional forms of TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) therapy.
There have been many self-help remedies suggested to treat TMJ symptoms, but you should be aware that these remedies do not treat the cause. Treatments with our West Ridge TMJ dentist may even be less costly, less time intensive and produce quite a satisfactory result. Even though self-help remedies don’t treat TMJ long term, temporary relief can be found by applying heat and cold packs to the sides of your face, limiting jaw movement, choosing softer food and foods that don’t require repetitive chewing, following through with any restorative tooth treatments needed so your bite is not affected, jaw massage and possible medications such as muscle relaxants. Whatever the treatment prescribed for you, it is important that you follow our expert’s treatment instructions. You should also keep up with routine dental visits so our West Ridge TMJ dentist can monitor your TMJ symptoms on a regular basis.
It is a critical step before a specific treatment is selected, to have a careful examination of your joints and occlusion, by our West Ridge TMJ dentist. Only a small percentage of TMJ cases require surgical intervention. If an improper bite is the cause of your TMJ symptoms, many bite corrections can be achieved with orthodontics, restorations, or equilibration or appliance therapy, such as a splint or mouth guard. The TMJ splint is worn to reduce stress on your jaw and allow muscles to function to their best ability. If it’s determined that no structural disorder exists in your jaw, occlusal equilibration may be recommended, which corrects interferences on your teeth that are most likely affecting your bite and jaw closure. One of the newer treatments for TMJ is actually Botox injected into the deep jaw muscle which will block nerve signals that cause uncontrollable muscle movements, ultimately relaxing your muscles.