TMJ Disorder Treatment Options
TMJ Disorder is a complex jaw condition that can cause pain, inflammation, and deterioration of the jawbone and teeth over time. The right treatment can minimize the disorder’s impact, which is often caused by grinding or clenching of the teeth, traumatic injury, or a physical abnormality. Because of the complexity of the temporomandibular joint, various TMJ treatment options are available to address the unique nature of each patient’s symptoms.
Soft Diet and Muscle Relaxers
The first step in treating TMJ pain is a soft diet, which minimizes overuse of the joint to reduce irritation and inflammation. With less need to chew, the muscles and ligaments surrounding the temporomandibular joint are allowed to rest. Muscle relaxers are often prescribed to further relieve the tension and tightness of the muscles and ligaments. A soft diet and muscle relaxers are usually adequate for the short-term treatment of mild TMJ disorder and periodic flare-ups.
TMJ Massage Therapy
Massage therapy effectively treats mild to moderate TMJ when used regularly, providing significant pain relief and improving joint function. Trigger point therapy and traditional massage may be combined to loosen the affected muscles and reduce pain.
TMJ massage therapy combines kneading, stretching, and friction massage techniques to increase circulation to the area and promote relaxation of the muscles. Because tension in adjoining muscles also contributes to TMJ problems, massage therapy may also involve the neck, shoulders, and scalp. Our in-office massage therapist offers convenient treatment options backed by years of experience and an understanding of TMJ structure.
When massage and self-care are ineffective, we may prescribe a TMJ splint. This oral appliance repositions the jaw to encourage jaw relaxation and prevent teeth grinding or clenching. TMJ splints are custom fitted for each patient and are worn at night to relax the joint and give the inflammation time to subside while you are sleeping. This is the most commonly used TMJ treatment for moderate to severe TMJ disorder and has a high success rate when used consistently.
Botox for TMJ Disorder
If a patient has not responded to non-invasive therapies, they may respond to Botox injections targeting tension in the muscles of the jaw, face, neck, and shoulders. Botox relaxes muscles and relieves tightness in and around the affected joint. Multiple injections are tailored to each patient and given in our office. The results are impressive and usually last three to four months. The minimally invasive procedure is one of the most effective treatment options available without surgery.