How to Treat TMJ Disorders

woman using ice packYou have two TMJs (temporomandibular joints) that connect your lower jaw to your skull. These joints are what allow you to talk and chew. However, TMJ disorders can interfere with the effectiveness of your joints, causing pain, a locked jaw, and/or difficulty chewing. Prevention is difficult because researchers don’t know what exactly causes these problems. If you have been diagnosed by your dentist with a TMJ disorder, there are several treatments you can try at home to ease your discomfort.

Finding Relief from TMJ Disorders

While it may be difficult to find the cause of a TMJ disorder, researchers believe that a misaligned jaw, teeth grinding, or stress on areas around the joint, such as your teeth or jaw muscles, can contribute to jaw dysfunctions. Treatment can involve addressing or preventing these symptoms. The good news is that symptoms of TMJ disorders can usually be relieved with conservative, non-invasive treatments.

If you have minor pain, you can start by relaxing or stretching your jaw muscles; your dentist or doctor may be able to show you helpful exercises. Avoid activities that can increase stress or discomfort to this area, such as chewing gum or sticky foods. You can also apply ice to your joints or jaw to relieve any pain, or take pain or anti-inflammatory medication as needed.

If none of these options provide relief for your symptoms, you can talk to your dentist about medication or therapy. A bite guard can help your jaw rest more comfortably, and we may suggest a splint to help realign your bite.

ABOUT YOUR NORTH RICHLAND HILLS FAMILY DENTIST:

With over 25 years of professional experience, Dr. Steven M. Huffstutler and his caring team proudly provide exceptional preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatment to patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth, including North Richland Hills, Denton, the Mid-cities, Southlake, and all surrounding communities. We also have extensive experience helping patients find relief from painful TMJ disorders (various forms of jaw dysfunction). To schedule an appointment with Dr. Huffstutler, contact our office today by calling 817-577-1444.