If you have a case of temporomandibular joint dysfunctions or TMJ, then you should know that there are many different types of conservative treatments that are available to you. And, these types of treatments are explored most often before a surgical operation is considered. Keep reading to learn about a few of your options.
There are a wide variety of medications that are available for use in reducing the discomfort associated with TMJ. The most common medicines are pain relievers, and these can be prescribed by your dentist or your general practitioner. NSAIDs work well to reduce discomfort, and ibuprofen is the best option. This medicine can be prescribed in an extra strength variety so you can reduce the number of over the counter pills you have to take. Certain antidepressants called tricyclic medications can help to reduce pain as well, and this is true of discomfort that is nerve related.
Antianxiety medicines are sometimes used as well to minimize the amount of physical pressure you are putting on your jaw. Muscle relaxants may be utilized as well.
Some dental professionals will suggest the use of NSAID pain relievers only, or you may be provided with a prescription for numerous medicines. This depends on the severity of your TMJ and the factors that worsen your symptoms.
Your dentist is likely to make an occlusal guard for you that you can wear at night. This guard is meant to protect your teeth from hard biting and grinding as you rest at night. However, you may need some protection during the day too that keeps stress off your temporomandibular joint. This is where a splint comes in.
A dental or occlusal splint is a hard plastic or acrylic device that sits in the mouth and prevents the top and bottom teeth from touching one another. Specifically, the splint is made in a way that keeps the TMJ joints in the least stressful position. Not only does this help to reduce pressure on the joint and the soreness that comes with the condition, but it also prevents the joints from becoming damaged permanently.
Splints will often give the TMJ joints an opportunity to heal, and this can help to manage your symptoms long-term. Sometimes a TMJ splint needs to be worn 24 hours a day, but this is not always the case. Your dental professional will tell you how many hours it should be worn and whether or not you should be placing the splint in your mouth in the evening before bed.
Contact your dentist for more information about TMJ treatment.