Managing TMJ Pain
TMJ disorder (“TMD” or “TMJD”) occurs when the temporomandibular joint on either side of the jaw becomes strained or functions abnormally. This can be due to a number of causes, ranging from a misaligned bite to extensive clenching during the day.
At Somersmiles Dental, we customize TMJ treatments to fit the unique needs and oral anatomy of our patients. Depending on what’s causing your TMD pain, some of the treatments or therapies we might recommend can include:
A Bite Splint
Strain to the TMJ is often due to overuse and the joint being fully engaged too frequently throughout the day. Yes, you can cut down on chewing gum and try to take muscle relaxers, but unless you train the jaw to not fully engage, the muscle memory will keep repeating the process. Wearing a protective bite splint will relax the jaws and protect your teeth from excessive wear or fractures.
Imbalanced bites can cause the TMJ to compromise its normal design to function effectively while eating and chewing your food. Over time, this extra muscle strain causes fatigue and headaches. Aligning the teeth helps your bite work more efficiently overall, reducing strain to the jaw joints.
Most of our Somerville patients are familiar with cosmetic injectables for minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. But these same products can also be useful for treating TMJ disorder, as certain types are natural muscle relaxants. Applying an injectable to the area every 3-6 months may keep your headaches to a minimum.
Physical Therapy and Massage
Physical manipulation, massage, and therapy of the TMJ is extremely beneficial, as with any other joint in your body experiencing fatigue. Our Somerville dentists can talk to you about different types of exercises that may be helpful.
If you’re experiencing popping, clicking, limited range of motion, or chronic jaw pain, call Somersmiles Dental today.