We have learned about TMJ and reviewed some of the signs and symptoms, now it is time to treat the pain. You may be surprised there are quite a few options some that can be done at home and others at the dental office. The trick is finding the right combination to help you.
Treating TMJ at Home
- Try over-the-counter medications that are anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen, which can help relieve muscle pain and swelling.
- Eat softer foods that are easier for your jaws to move as you chew. Also, with other foods cut them into smaller pieces so you don’t have to chew as much. And be sure to avoid chewy foods, like taffy.
- Keep your teeth slightly apart as often as you can. This will prevent you from clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth while you are awake.
- Use moist heat or cold packs on the side of your face near your jaw for five to ten minutes for some relief.
Treatment at the Dental Office
- Create a custom-made splint or night guard to keep your teeth from touching. This will assist in lessening the effect of clinching or grinding.
- Your dentist can prescribe medications with a higher strength than over-the-counter medications for your pain and swelling. Your doctor will work with you on the correct dosage and when to take the medication.
- Your dentist can work to level your teeth so your bite will be balanced. In addition, missing teeth can be replaced with crowns or bridges depending on what is necessary.
- In the most severe cases, we would refer you to an oral surgeon office who are highly trained in TMJ surgery.
These are just some of the options available to you, but our highly trained dentists can work with you on an individualized treatment plan.