TMJ & Bruxism Demystified: Solutions for Ear & Jaw Pain

What is TMJ conservative treatment for TMD?

Conservative therapy is a general term for treatments that do not make irreversible, non-reversible improvements to the teeth, jaw, joint, or tissue of the patient.

What treatment would I be recommended for TMJ disorder?

Dr.Adatrow believes in a holistic and non-invasive approach to a health problem. So, in our dental clinic, we mostly give our patients stabilization splints. He would fit you for a custom splint by taking an impression of your teeth or by the digital scan. You may be asked to wear the splint 24/7 at the beginning of your treatment, or just when you sleep. The success of splint therapy is dependent upon how well you comply with Dr. Adatrow's instructions. To make sure your dental splint fits correctly and provides the most relief, our dental team may need to adjust it several times as your jaw gets used to it.

Why was I recommended psychological treatment for my TMJ disorder?

TMJ Conservative therapy is commonly used to handle aggravated during stress. Recently, studies have found that biopsychosocial therapy to have a profound impact on relieving symptoms of TMD as it addresses the stress. Biopsychosocial treatment involves a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and biofeedback. These therapies help patients in controlling or modifying the response of a body to stress or pain.

What medications are prescribed to reduce my TMJ dysfunction symptoms?

To gain a temporary relief of TMJ pain, over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen, naproxen and piroxicams can be used. If the pain is too severe then Dr. Adatrow would prescribe you stronger pain killers like opiods (morphine, codeine), benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax), muscle relaxants and anticonvulsants. Anti-depression medications can be prescribed to reduce depression and stress.

Are there any supplements to support TMJ health?

Yes, you can discuss with Dr. Adatrow regarding taking supplements to boost your TMJ health. He might recommend glucosamine sulfate, calcium, magnesium, chondroitin sulfate, vitamin D3, vitamin B complex, turmeric and vitamin C.

What kind of diet can I eat to protect my TMJ?

When you have severe TMJ dysfunction, chewing would be painful. In such cases, try to follow these tips:
  • Avoid chewing gums for a prolonged duration.
  • Avoid consuming hard or chewy foods like biting an apple chewing a raw carrot or celery, corn on the cob. Try to slice or cut into bite-sized pieces before eating.
  • Prefer softer foods like scrambled eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, quiche, tofu, soup, smoothies, pasta, fish, mashed potatoes, milkshakes, bananas, applesauce, gelatin, or ice cream.
  • Prefer ground or finely diced meat to reduce the chewing.

Why are occlusal adjustments made for TMJ treatment?

The most straightforward occlusal modification includes selective grinding (with the dental drill) of the enamel of the occlusal surfaces of the teeth. This intends to allow the upper teeth to match more harmoniously with the lower teeth. Occlusal adjustments can also be made by orthodontic devices, restorations, crowns, or surgery. All these methods cause irreversible changes to the oral structures. So, Dr. Adatrow does not prefer to use this method for the treatment of TMJ disorders. However, he will decide the best treatment based on your functionality and severity of the disease.
TMJ Conservative therapy

What is low-level laser therapy for TMD?

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is an infrared light therapy administered directly at the site of the Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. LLLT is indicated to have biostimulation and analgesic effects by direct radiation without inducing thermal reactions. Laser therapy helps blood flow by increasing oxygen, glucose, and nutrients to the affected muscles. Stimulates the body's healing process, speeds up recovery time and boost the health of your weakened jaw disk.

What are trigger point injections in TMJ?

Trigger points are the muscle knots or highly tensed muscle points. In trigger point injections, anesthetics like lidocaine or mepivacaine are injected into the trigger points. This will render the area numb for a few hours and relieve pain for days or months.

How is ultrasound used in TMJ therapy?

In some cases, ultrasound may be used, which causes deep heat to the muscles and joints. It can help to relax muscles, improve circulation for recovery, and reduce pain. The best part is that these techniques often help to make the area heal faster.

Why was I recommended conservative therapy for TMD?

According National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, conservative and reversible treatment is recommended for TMJ. This is because conservative treatments do not cause harm to the oral tissues, and reversible treatments do not bring about permanent changes. There are many types of conservative treatments for TMJ disorder.Dr.Adatrow would be suggesting and prescribing the most appropriate medication for your condition.

Why reducing your stress and anxiety is essential?

Reducing your stress and anxiety is necessary for calming your mind and releasing tension from your muscles. It can also help with bruxism or grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw at night. Additionally, addressing stress and anxiety in your life may help you reduce parafunction or harmful oral habits like biting your nails, inner cheeks, lips, pens, and pencils, or chewing gum. All these habits can contribute to TMJ pain.

How do trigger point injections work for TMD?

When a trigger point injection is used, pain relief happens due to the disruption of the muscle knot by the needle and the consequent modification of pain transmission. These injections cause minimal discomfort and can be done in our dental office.

What is a TMJ splint?

A splint is a removable dental appliance. It covers the surfaces of all or a few of upper and lower teeth. It is commonly called occlusal splints, and as it is related to biting the relationship of the teeth. Splints are made of acrylic resin – hard or soft. Hard splints are commonly used as they are durable and easy to maintain.

Why was I recommended physiotherapy for my temporomandibular disorder?

Dr.Adatrow believes in addressing the root cause of the disorder rather than just the symptoms. So, he might prescribe you physiotherapy and TMJ Conservative therapy as a supportive treatment for other TMJ treatments.

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