TMJ/TMD Treatment Elmhurst
Treating your TMJ disorders
The TMJ or “Temporo-Mandibular Joint” disorders are a family of problems related to your complex jaw joint.
A variety of conditions can lead to difficulty with the TMJ including:
- Nighttime teeth grinding
- Teeth clenching (also known as bruxism)
- Previous trauma to the jaw
- Fingernail biting
- Bad malocclusion (bite)
If you have symptoms like pain (near the front or below the ears), limitations of mouth opening/ closing or grating noise when opening your mouth, ringing in the ears, grinding and clicking or popping sounds, you may need treatment. There is no simple prescription for your TMJ disfunction. Restoring your jaw’s harmony includes several kinds of treatment to reduce muscle tension, regain a stable bite, or rest and heal your jaw joint. Treatment works best with a team approach of self-care and professional care (your general dentist, orthodontist, oral surgeon and chiropractic). It may take time and include many options such as bite correction via orthodontics or restorative work or even more invasive surgical options such as joint reconstruction.
If nothing else controls your pain when it flares up, medications like common pain relievers, muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatories will help reduce swelling. Alternating ice-cold/moist-heat compresses can also provide temporary relief. Using custom made special mouth guards or repositioning splints with different designs worn at night or full-time will help stop clenching or grinding and relieve muscle tension and move your joints into proper position. Proper adjustment of your splint will be needed periodically as your jaw posture changes. At first during acute periods of pain you may want to wear the splint 24 hours a day, then gradually only at night, depending on your particular problem. Splint therapy may last for six month or more. We will do anything in our power to get you out of pain and functioning comfortably.