After a person who experiences TMJ symptoms has been evaluated and diagnosed, an individualized treatment plan is prescribed. Treatments vary for each patient, but they are divided into two stages with specific goals.
Eliminate pain, stabilize jaw position and normalize muscle activity.
Adjust the bite, correcting bite problems and orthodontics.
Some treatments recommended by The TMJ Treatment Center can begin at home, including:
Dr. Mitakides recommends alternating heat for 10 minutes, ice for three minutes, and heat again for 10 minutes over the temple and side of the face. This can reduce pain and muscle spasms.
A soft diet of cooked whole grains and vegetables, eggs, cheese and fish put less strain on the jaw compared to salads, apples, hard breads and steak. Avoid chewing gum and ice.
Sleeping on your back is the best position to begin eliminating some pain and habits causing TMJ.
Being consciously aware of your jaw position—lips together, teeth apart—not resting your chin on your hand, and prohibiting your jaw from opening too wide when yawning will have a positive impact on habits that cause TMJ pain.
Other therapies Dr. Mitakides and his team may recommend for patients include:
Patients can be taught ways to relieve pains and correct muscle problems on their own. Additional muscle massages and exercises may be recommended by trained therapists.
Appliances fitted to your bite and misalignment created by Dr. Mitakides are very successful and help to correct TMJ problems.
Pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-depressants and muscle relaxants may be prescribed as part of the treatment.
Botox treatment reduces the muscle movement that produces the severe headaches and pain from TMJ. This treatment is an efficient and effective non-surgical option for patients. Learn more about Botox treatments for TMJ here: Botox Treatments for TMJ
While rarely recommended by Dr. Mitakides, in severe cases, surgery may be a treatment option.
In extreme cases, the muscle spasms have occurred for an extended period of time, and the joints may have become injured or arthritic, or the bones and soft tissues don’t align as a result of an injury or accident.
TMJ can be painful and frustrating to those living with the disorder. You aren’t alone. The TMJ Treatment Center team is dedicated to helping you find real and lasting relief. Contact us to learn more about your options and our process to help you regain your quality of life.