TMJ/TMD Treatment: Alleviate Pain and Stiffness in the Jaw

TMJ and TMD treatment—also known as temporomandibular joint disorder—is a dental procedure to alleviate pain or stiffness in the jaw. With TMJ, the joint connecting the lower jaw to the skull may produce a clicking sound when opening.

TMJ can sometimes go away on its own with painkillers and relaxation methods. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms for more than a few days, you should consult our dentist immediately:

  • Pain or tenderness in the jaw
  • Pain in or around the ear
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Difficulty opening or closing the mouth
  • Inability to carry on with normal life tasks

What Causes TMJ?

TMJ affects 1 in 10 people, generally between the ages of 20-40, but it can also affect anyone at any age. TMJ can be caused by:

  • Genetics
  • Arthritis
  • Injury
  • Jaw clenching/grinding

TMJ can be treated non-surgically; however, our dentist may also recommend a surgical procedure if symptoms do not go away or become more severe. If left untreated, TMJ can also lead to long-term, more serious health issues such as joint disorders.

What to Expect At Your Appointment:

Our dentist will assess the severity of the issue first by listening for clicking sounds when opening/closing the mouth. They will then observe your open/close range of motion and whether you are experiencing any pain. They may also take an X-ray of the mouth and jaw or suggest an MRI scan to see the skull.

What Does TMJ/TMD Treatment involve?

If surgery is not needed, our dentist will recommend the following for TMJ/TMD treatment:

  • Over-the-counter medication for pain relief
  • Muscle relaxant to help with jaw spasms
  • A mouth or bite guard to help with clenching
  • They may also recommend physical therapy

While treating your pain for TMJ/TMD, you should eat soft foods and drink plenty of fluids. Self-massage, meditation, and other relaxation methods can also help ease TMJ muscle pain.

If you think you have TMJ/TMD and are seeking treatment, book a consultation with one of our dentists today. We’d be happy to discuss treatment options in more detail.

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For additional information regarding our practice, or to schedule an appointment, contact us at 920-231-7160. We look forward to helping you achieve your unique goals! And be sure to take a look at our blog for news and updates about your dental health.