Once TMJ disorder has been diagnosed TMJ treatment can begin immediately. First it is important to state that everyone is different and thus treatment programs will be different for everyone. What works for one patient may not work as well for another so treatment programs must be custom tailored to each individual patient by an experienced TMJ dentist.
One of the most common treatment methods is a soft guard. The soft guard is a custom formed plastic guard that is worn over the teeth, It is designed to open up the bite and relax the jaw muscles that have become overly stressed and in serious pain. It is often worn for about 6 weeks, relieving pain and preparing the muscles for the next stage of treatment. Unfortunately, many patients think that once the pain is gone there’s no further need for treatment but the cause of the pain is still there and hasn’t been entirely treated.
The next stage of treatment is the Mandibular Orthopedic Repositioning Appliance (MORA).- This device just repositions the joints, not the occlusion but it is essential to actually treating TMJ disorder and not just treating the symptoms. It is meant to create permanent changes to the temporo-mandibular joints. In some cases orthodontic work may be recommended to alter the occlusion.
Other treatment options are assigned on a case to case basis. TMJ physical therapy is often recommended and can have a large impact on treatment. Jaw massage is designed to help relax the muscles and relieve pain. Jaw exercises are designed to correct the way the mouth opens and closes. Done in front of a mirror at least twice a day these exercises can have a far larger impact that many people realize. In order for the exercises to work they must be done with dedication. A nutritional program designed to supplement muscle health is often advised. In some cases chiropractic treatment is also suggested. Again, each case is different and should be treated so.
© 2012 Dr Mark Padolsky - Atlanta TMJ Dentist | 1624 Piedmont Avenue, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30324 | 404-876-8123