The severity of TMD varies from person to person, which means there are a variety of options for you to choose from that will best suit your needs. Let’s take a look at a few common treatment plans for TMD, starting with Oral Appliance Therapy:
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)
Oral appliance therapy is a very helpful and successful technique in treating Temporomandibular joint dysfunction. These devices are extremely popular among TMD patients due to the simplicity and comfort of the appliance. People describe the appliance as being similar to a retainer for orthodontic treatments.
These appliances are made to fit your mouth and your mouth only, completely unique! Some of these devices are meant to move the lower jaw forward, while others simply prevent the tongue from falling backward which in turn would block the airway. These appliances are the most effective treatment in preventing and/or controlling sleep apnea related disorders.
Another popular option for TMD treatment is a splint. Splints are put in place and prevent the upper and lower teeth from touching. These are typically worn at night to avoid any teeth clenching or grinding which would result in pain the next morning. Wearing these splints will enable your jaw muscles and joints to relax and heal, relieving you from any pain.
For less severe cases, over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs would work just as well. The most typical medicine prescribed for TMD is muscle relaxants due to their ability to help loosen tight muscles. This is especially popular for those who grind or clench their teeth. With any situation, it is important to speak with your doctor about which direction is best for you.
Some treatments include:
- Jaw Tracking Analysis – Determines your jaw alignment and helps evaluate motion patterns as they may affect the TM joint and cause symptoms.
- Iontophoresis – An injection technique, without needles, for the transdermal delivery of treatment medications.
- Ultrasound Therapy – The use of focused sound waves to reduce pain and swelling of affected areas.
- Chiropractic – The treatment of mechanical disorders by manual adjustment of the musculoskeletal system.
- Relaxion Therapy – Techniques for the physical and mental release of underlying tensions that contribute to TMJ disorder.
- Energex – Radio frequency therapy that promotes muscle relaxation.
- Orthodic – Realignment of the jaw over time.
- Laser Therapy – Low level, targeted laser emissions that stimulate the joint system’s natural healing ability.
- Physical Therapy – Includes hot/cold treatment to relieve pain, exercises to strengthen muscles and massage to relax muscles and improve circulation.
- Trigger Point – A direct treatment of the hyperirritable spots of muscle tissue associated with TMJ disorder.
- TENS – Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation sends soothing pulses through the skin and along nerve fibres to suppress pain signals to the brain.
- Life Counseling – Nutritional management, stress control and other addresses to lifestyle designed to reduce symptoms.