There are a number of treatment options available to correct TMJ (“temporomandibular joint” problems) and “conservative” is the key word when it comes to TMJ treatment. Specific treatment should be determined during a consultation with one of our dentists at our Bay Ridge Dental Office, who are highly experienced in TMJ. At 5th Avenue Dental Associates, Our dentists have expertise in evaluating jaw-to-bite relationships, and are knowledgeable when it comes to appropriate procedures such as occlusal equilibration and the use of intra-oral appliances. With the proper guidance, most treatments for TMJ are simple and can be done at home, without the need for surgery. The more symptoms severe cases may require treatment with splints, mouth guards or other traditional forms of TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) therapy. Basically, TMJ and TMD are disorders of the jaw muscles, joints or nerves associated with chronic facial pain.
Several self-help remedies have been suggested to treat TMD symptoms, but you must be aware that these remedies do not treat the cause. TMJ and TMD treatments at our Bay Ridge Dental Office may even be less costly, less of a time commitment, and produce a successful result. Although self-help remedies do not treat TMD long term, temporary relief may be found by applying heat and cold packs to the sides of your face, curbing jaw movement, eating softer food and foods that don’t require a lot of chewing, follow through with restorative tooth treatments needed so your bite is not affected, simple jaw massage and possible medications such as muscle relaxants. You should also keep up with routine dental visits so our dentist can regularly monitor your TMJ and TMD symptoms.
A careful examination of the joints and occlusion at our Bay Ridge Dental Office is a necessary step before a specific treatment is selected. Only a small percentage of TMD cases require surgical intervention. If an improper bite is the cause of the TMD symptoms, many bite corrections can be achieved with orthodontics, restorations, equilibration or appliance therapy, such as a splint or mouth guard. The TMJ splint is worn to reduce stress on the jaw and allow muscles to function to their best ability. One of the newer treatments for TMJ is actually Botox injected into the deep jaw muscle which will block nerve signals that cause uncontrollable muscle movements, ultimately relaxing the muscles.