TMJ TreatmentBecause TMJ disorder (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) may be the result of a variety of causes related with different health fields (dentistry, psychology, physical therapy), there are many different tmj treatment approaches.
The intensity of the TMJ symptoms, the nature of the causes and the structural damage done to the temporomandibular joint, are the factors that determine the next steps in the treatment of TMJ disorder. The TMJ treatment plan may include medications for pain relief, jaw relaxation treatments, TMJ exercises, physical therapy and TMJ surgery.
Jaw Relaxation TMJ treatmentsRelaxing the jaw relieves the tension from the muscles and the tmj.
To relax the jaw, the patient must break bad habits and eliminate the aggravating factors by:
Stoping chewing gum
Soft diet. Avoid hard, chewy, crunchy foods or foods that require to open the mouth wide.
Stoping clenching or grinding teeth is necessary for an effective tmj treatment.
The usual approache of TMJ treatment is to help the patient to stop bruxism with:
• Stress Management is essential for stoping bruxism (psychological counseling, or medications might be needed).
• Mouth guards and night guard devices, are the best treatments for teeth grinding and they are also the most widely used treatment for TMJ and jaw muscle problems. A night guard is a thin piece of hard plastic that is placed on the upper teeth. They are made from impressions of your teeth in order to fit perfectly.
TMJ physical therapy & jaw exercisesPhysical therapy can help relax the muscles and increase joint flexibility. TMJ physical therapy is often used in conjunction with other TMJ treatments.
Gentle jaw exercises or massage. Passively opening and closing the jaw, bringing lower teeth out in front of upper teeth are exercises that increase the range of motion and strength of the joint.
Pain relief, jaw relaxation and physical therapy are conservative and reversible tmj treatments that should be used first as natural therapy for tmj. Only if they fail, the patient should try a more radical and permanent tmj treatment as the foollowing ones.
Occlusal therapy for TMJ - Correction of Bite ProblemsUneven teeth affect the temporomandibular joint's ability to close properly, thus causing the TMJ disorder. The TMJ treatment should be targeting in restoring and maintaining the normal relationship between the jaws (maxillae and mandible). Permanent dental corrections of the teeth may be helpful in persons with chronic or recurrent TMJ symptoms.
Correction of Bite Abnormalities to treat TMJ disorder problems is accomplished by :
Mandibular repositioning devices which move the jaw into a new position.
If the occlusal surfaces of the teeth have been damaged because of teeth grinding, trauma or tooth decay, the proper occlusion can be restored through modification of the occlusal surfaces of the teeth.
Manual adjustment of the bite by grinding the teeth.
Dental work such as adjustment of crowns or bridges to ensure proper alignment of the teeth.