It is possible for TMJ disorder symptoms to subside in a few days or you can also try simple exercises to treat them off. However, there may be situations where the symptoms require treatment to go away. When they persist and the pain and discomfort seem to be increasing, then it is best that you seek medical advice. There are several treatment options for the disorder and some of the top 3 are highlighted below.
Therapies for TMJ disorder do not include any drugs. Physical therapy is among the therapies that can be used for the disorder. The therapy may include ice and moist heat or ultrasound together with strengthening and stretching exercises. Use of oral splints is the other therapy option and it involves wearing firm or soft devices that are inserted over teeth to treat jaw pain. Patients can also receive counseling as part of therapy to help them understand behaviors and factors that make the pain worse and how they should avoid them.
The other treatment option for TMJ disorder is the use of medications to get rid of the pain and get the jaw functioning as it should. Anti-inflammatories and pain relievers are some of the medications that may be administered. Muscle relaxants may also be prescribed for a few days to relive the symptoms. Tricyclic antidepressants are also medications used specifically for pain relief in TMJ disorder. Your doctor will use the diagnosis to make a decision regarding the best kind of medication depending on possible causes and severity of the disorder.
In cases where therapy and medication does not work in treating TMJ disorder, it may be necessary to undergo surgery. Open joint surgery may be settled for if the disorder is as a result of structural joint problem requiring joint replacement or repair. It is, however a procedure that has lots of risks and usually the very last to be considered. Arthocentesis which involves ventilation of fluid to remove inflammatory byproducts and debris from the joint is a less invasive procedure and usually used to treat the disorder. There is also TMJ arthroscopic surgery that involves placement of thin tubes in joint space before insertion of the arthroscope and other surgical instruments to do the surgery. This procedure has fewer complications and risks compared to open joint surgery. Other possible procedures are modified condylotomy that is suitable for treating jaw locking and pain, and corticosteroid injections on chewing jaw muscles to get rid of the pain.
Other treatment techniques that can be used for TMJ disorder include acupuncture, biofeedback and relaxation techniques. Acupuncture is treated by trained specialist to treat chronic pain and involves the insertion of needles is specific body parts. Biofeedback on the other hand is the use of electronic devices to monitor muscle stiffness so that effective relation techniques can be practiced to treat the problem. The best relaxation techniques that can help relieve the pain associated with TMJ disorder include slow breathing and deep regular breaths. They relax muscles thereby reducing the pain.
You do not need to suffer under TMJ disorder symptoms because there are very effective treatment options. Your doctor will help select the most suitable for you.