TMJ Disorders/Pain Treatments
Temporomandibular dysfunction or TMD includes a wide range of disorders that often overlap. They include muscle
issues that affect jaw movement, facial pain around the jaw joint and a variety of other problems that can show up within the joint itself. This variety makes diagnosis and treatment challenging. An accurate diagnosis is critical for successful treatment. Dr. Causey is experienced in the identification and treatment of TMD.
Most times if the problem is muscular or within the joint, it will get better over time. For this reason Dr. Causey uses conservative treatments first. But in some cases, surgery or other procedures, such as injections, may be recommended. If you have a case of TMD, Dr. Causey may suggest the treatments listed below and may even use several in a combination. This is because patients may not find relief from using only one.
- Soft foods — If you eat foods that don’t require much chewing, your jaw has a chance to rest and heal.
- Moist heat, jaw exercise and ice packs — Some people find that a good routine of moist heat, exercise and ice helps relive TMD symptoms fairly quickly. To do this start by applying moist heat to the side of your face and temple. This relaxes tight muscles that may be causing pain and spasms. You should maintain the moist heat for about 10 minutes. Then do a few simple jaw stretchs. After that follow up with some ice on your jaw for about 5 minutes.
- Medicine — Our typical suggestions are over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory meds, these will help relieve most muscle pain and swelling. We also may prescribe muscle relaxants to help loosen tight jaw muscles when someone gets locked open.
- Splints – After a very thorough exam, a custom splint is usually fabricated. There are several types of splints, each used to treat very specific problems.
- Botox injections – These injections can be helpful for certain symptoms.