Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) is a painful condition that can afflict an individual for years or decades. Fortunately, there are effective treatments that can alleviate the symptoms of this condition.
Here are some of the ways that TMJ dysfunction is treated:
One common cause of TMD is malocclusion (jaw misalignment).
One effective treatment option called an oral splint gently corrects your bite.
The appliance is worn at night. This treatment is proven to
the symptoms of your TMD and may correct your jaw misalignment completely.
TMJ dysfunction often causes bruxism (teeth grinding/clenching). A mouthguard is another type of oral appliance which keeps teeth apart to prevent grinding. Not only does this protect your teeth, it also reduces the pain and discomfort of TMD when you wake up. Mouthguards are effective whether your teeth grinding is due to malocclusion or stress.
If you have TMJ dysfunction, Dr. Gleave will evaluate your symptoms and determine if you need one or both oral appliances. He will then fit you with a custom appliance to correct your symptoms.
There are several exercises you can try at home to relax and relieve the pain in your temporomandibular joint. Dr. Gleave can recommend a few of these proven methods to help you reduce joint pain. Physical therapy or massage may also benefit those suffering from TMD-related pain.
Cool packs may also reduce your jaw pain. Apply a cold pack in 10-minute increments to soothe the joint. Also, you can experiment with different jaw stretches before applying a warm washcloth in 5-minute increments.
There are also non-traditional relaxation techniques. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) uses low-level electrical currents to relax the jaw joint. Ultrasound or radio wave technology can stimulate the jaw joint to promote blood flow and reduce pain.
Sometimes, certain dental procedures can
malocclusion. These may include adding dental bridges, crowns, or braces. The
restorative treatments are effective for balancing your bite surface or
correcting a bite problem. Dr. Gleave will evaluate your mouth and determine
the best method or methods for correcting your bite.
In extreme cases, the only way to address your jaw joint problems may be surgery. Arthroscopy is an advanced form of surgery that can be performed without the need for making large incisions. Open-joint surgery is more invasive and is used to address more serious TMJ issues. Arthrocentesis can be performed through the use of minimally invasive needles that are inserted into the joint to flush out debris and inflammation.
Your dentist may recommend other treatment options as well, such as injections, a modified condylotomy, or medications.
Contact Our TMJ Dysfunction Specialists
If you’re experiencing TMJ pain, our Salt Lake City, UT dental team can help. Dr. Gleave has experience helping patients correct their bite and reduce the pain of TMJ dysfunction. Our office offers gentle compassionate dental care to help maintain the oral health of patients around Salt Lake City. You don’t have to suffer through TMJ pain. Contact our office today by calling 801-747-8531, or by filling out our online form.