Fortunately, most TMD/TMJ patients improve over time without treatment. To alleviate discomfort, a warm or cold compress can be placed on the jaw. A gentle massage may also ease sore jaw muscles. It also helps to cut food into tiny pieces, eat a soft diet, and avoid anything sticky or chewy. In addition, avoid opening your mouth too wide, and try to relax.
When your jaw is relaxed, your teeth are not clenched, and your tongue rests on the base of the mouth. Except when speaking, swallowing, or chewing, there should be a slight gap between your top and bottom teeth.
After a complete exam including x-ray images, your dentist in Coral Springs may recommend TMD treatment. The plan may include a referral to a behavioral therapist, a physiotherapist, or a chiropractor. The goal is to alleviate muscle pain. Alternative options may include relaxation techniques and/or pain or anti-inflammatory medication. If you are not sleeping well, several methods to improve sleep may be prescribed.
A custom-fitted nightguard or occlusal splint is commonly used to manage TMD. Made of clear plastic, a nightguard is worn over the biting surfaces of one jaw. They are designed to prevent grinding and clenching. Instead of the upper and lower teeth meet, you bite against the splint. As a result, the muscles and jaw joints relax.
If you continue to experience pain, your Coral Springs dentist may refer you to an outside specialist. Other dental professionals have advanced training in TMJ/TMD disorders such as an orthodontist, oral surgeon, prosthodontist, and a periodontist. If you are referred to a specialist in orofacial pain, your dentist will provide more information. Call Designer Smiles FL today to find more about TMD treatment in Coral Springs.
Oral surgery is rarely necessary to ease TMD symptoms. However, there are times when all other treatments fail to provide relief. For example, if you find it difficult to open your mouth, surgery may be the solution. If so, you will be referred to an experienced oral or maxillofacial surgeon in Coral Springs who has expertise in this type of surgery.