Treatments for TMJ
Treatment for TMJ pain is focused on relieving muscle tension, spasms and muscle pain. Over 90% of TMJ pain comes from muscle pain, which is the primary source of TMJ pain and TMJ headaches. Even though jaw muscles are usually not the cause of TMJ problems, pain in these muscles is almost always a patient’s primary complaint. Once the jaw muscles return to normal, the TMJ joint itself can be properly evaluated.
Massage of the TMJ helps relax the muscles and ease pain.
Although massaging the muscles of the face, head and trigger point muscles of the neck may temporarily relieve some of the symptoms, it will not correct the underlying cause of TMJ disorder. However, massage will reduce tension in these muscles and provide some relief, and is an important therapeutic tool in treating TMJ disorders.
The doctor may recommend certain vitamins, herbs and other supplements to help aid in the treatment of TMJ disorder. Pain relievers may also help while treatment is ongoing.
Oral appliance therapy
An oral appliance keeps your jaw in position and relaxed. This oral appliance can also adjust your bite into an optimal, natural position. It needs to be worn 24/7 and normally takes two to six weeks to achieve this goal.
Orthodontics can be an effective approach that can help with TMJ disorder. Once teeth are positioned correctly, the TMJ will also shift back into its optimal alignment. This will reduce or even eliminate any ongoing symptoms as well as prevent abnormal wear and tear to teeth, which can occur when teeth are not properly aligned.
Treatments For TMJ Headaches
Massage Therapy. Gentle self-massage often helps relieve TMJ headache pain but will only provide temporary relief.
Pain Medication. TMJ headaches can often be helped by using Motrin, Nuprin or Advil. They all contain Ibuprofen which is an anti-inflammatory medication that helps to relieve muscle pain.
Oral Appliance. An oral appliance is the most effective treatment in helping patients to relieve their TMJ headaches. A customized soft, comfortably fitting oral appliance will support the lower jaw by holding it down and forward, and keep teeth from grinding. Patients often feel relief from TMJ headache pain in a few days.