The keywords for TMD treatment are "conservative" and "reversible." Conservative treatment is as simple and commonly used as most patients do not have severe degenerative TMD. Conservative treatment does not infringe the organization of the face, chin, or joints. Reversible treatment does not lead to permanent or irreversible changes in the structure or position of the jaw or teeth.
Since most TMD problems are temporary and do not get worse, usually simple treatment is needed to relieve discomfort. Self-care practices, such as eating soft foods, heating or ice, to avoid extreme chin movements (such as wide yawning, loud singing and chewing gum) can alleviate TMD symptoms. Special techniques for learning to relax and reduce stress can also help patients solve the pain caused by TMD problems.
Other conservative, reversible treatments include physiotherapy that you can do at home, with emphasis on gentle muscle stretching and relaxation exercises, and short-term muscle relaxation and anti-inflammatory medications.
Healthcare providers may recommend dental instruments the oral appliances, also known as splints or bite plates, which are plastic sheaths suitable for upper or lower teeth. Splints can help reduce tension or grinding and relieve muscle tension. Oral splints can only be used within a short period of time and should not cause permanent changes in occlusion. If the splint causes or increases pain, stop using it and see your doctor.
The described conservative, reversible treatments are useful for temporarily relieving pain and muscle spasms - they are not "cures" for TMD. If symptoms persist or come back frequently, consult a doctor.
There are other types of TMD treatments, such as surgery or injections, that invade tissue. Some involve injecting pain relief drugs into painful muscle areas, often referred to as "trigger points." Researchers are studying this type of treatment to see if these injections are helpful for prolonged treatment.
Surgical treatment is usually irreversible and should be avoided as much as possible. If you need this kind of treatment, be sure to let the doctor explain to you in a language you can understand, the reason for the treatment, the risks involved, and other types of treatments that may be offered.
Scientists have learned that certain irreversible treatments, such as surgical replacement of the mandibular joint with artificial implants, may result in severe pain and permanent jaw injury. Some of these devices may not be able to operate properly, or they may be partially cracked over time. It is important to obtain other independent opinions before performing mandibular joint surgery.
Other irreversible treatments are of little value - and may make the problem worse - including repair of occlusion orthodontics; restorative dentistry, which uses crown and bridge work to balance bite; and occlusal adjustment, smoothing the teeth so that Occlusive balance.
Although more research is needed on the safety and efficacy of most TMD therapies, scientists strongly recommend using the most conservative and reversible treatment before considering invasive treatment. Even if TMD problems turn into chronic diseases, most patients still do not need aggressive treatment.
Remember, for most people, TMD's discomfort will eventually disappear regardless of treatment. Simple self-care measures are usually effective in relieving symptoms of TMD. If more treatment is needed, it should be conservative and reversible. If possible, avoid any treatment that causes a permanent change in bite or sputum. If irreversible treatment is recommended, a reliable second opinion must be obtained.
Many practitioners, especially dentists, are familiar with the conservative treatment of TMD. Since TMD is usually painful, hospitals and university pain clinics are also a good source of advice and second opinion for these diseases. Specially dental equipment trained facial pain specialists can often help diagnose and treat TMD.