Conservative Treatment for TMJ Disorders
Dr. Kalant and Dr. Pink strongly recommend seeking conservative treatment for your TMJ Disorder prior to a surgical consultation at our office. Our doctors have many professionals whom they recommend for conservative, self-care treatment options (listed below). Once you’ve participated in conservative, self-care treatment for your TMJ Disorder you may be a surgical candidate for TMJ Surgery, if these treatments have been unsuccessful. Dr. Kalant or Dr. Pink will be able to determine a surgical plan after an initial consultation for TMJ Surgery at our office. It is important to note that treatment always works best with self-care combined with professional care and may take months to see results before surgical intervention.
Self-care treatments can often be effective, which include:
- Resting your jaw
- Keeping your teeth apart when you are not swallowing or eating
- Eating soft foods
- Applying ice and heat
- Exercising your jaw
- Physical therapy of the TMJ
- Practicing good posture
Stress management techniques such as biofeedback or physical therapy may be recommended, as well as a temporary, clear plastic appliance known as a splint. A splint (or night guard) fits over your top or bottom teeth and helps keep your teeth apart, thereby relaxing the muscles and reducing pain. There are different types of appliances used for different purposes. A night guard helps you stop clenching or grinding your teeth and reduces muscle tension at night. It also helps to protect the cartilage and joint surfaces. An anterior positioning appliance moves your jaw forward, relieves pressure on parts of your jaw, and aids in disc re-positioning. It may be worn 24 hours/a day to help your jaw heal. An orthotic stabilization appliance is worn 24 hours/a day, or just at night, to move your jaw into the proper position. Appliances also help protect tooth wear.
*As a surgical practice, we do not fabricate night guards or appliances, however, we recommend dental professionals in the area who will.