Treatment for temporomandibular disorder, also known as TMJ pain, is based on the cause, and includes use of bite plates to relieve pressure on the joint, facial muscle relaxation techniques, physiotherapy or, in more severe cases, surgery.
It is also very important to observe and avoid habits that may be triggering the pain, such as the habit of biting nails, biting your lips or clenching your teeth intentionally or unintentionally, resting your chin on your hand or chewing gum or objects hard, for example.
Temporomandibular dysfunction is a disorder in the joint and muscles responsible for mouth and jaw movements, which causes fatigue in the respiratory muscles and causes symptoms such as jaw pain, frequent headaches and clicking or dislocation of the jaw when opening your mouth.Learn more about the symptoms and how to identify in what temporomandibular disorder is.
The main forms of treatment include:
1. Use of Bite Plates
Also known as stabilization plate or occlusion plate, these plates must be guided by the dentist and are often used in the treatment of TMJ, as they act by relaxing the muscles, stabilizing the joint and protecting the teeth.
Generally, these plates are made of acrylic made to measure, and are especially suitable for people who have bruxism, which is the unconscious habit of clenching or grinding their teeth, especially during sleep, which causes wear of the teeth and trigger TMJ pain. Learn more about what bruxism is and how to treat it.
Physiotherapy exercises are very important to reduce inflammation and increase joint strength and stability, allowing the region to function better.The physiotherapist will indicate the best techniques according to each case, and involves performing exercises, osteopathic sessions, electrical stimulation, application of ultrasound or infrared vibration or therapies with heat or cold, for example.
When the cervical spine is involved, a few osteopathic sessions may be useful to reposition and relieve inflammation of the cervical and jaw joints.
3. Use of medication
Medicines can be prescribed by the doctor or dentist, and are usually analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Dipyrone or Ibuprofen, to relieve pain crises. During these periods, the use of a muscle relaxant, such as Cyclobenzaprine, may also be recommended to reduce muscle tension.
4. Relaxation Techniques
Stress and anxiety are causes of worsening bruxism and tension in the jaw muscles, so it is important that they are controlled to allow an effective treatment of TMJ pain.Thus, it is recommended to seek the help of a psychotherapist or psychologist to help with this issue.
Other ways to allow relaxation are to invest in activities such as meditation, acupuncture, listening to music, reading or other activities that can bring a sense of well-being. Check out our tips to combat stress.
5. Laser Therapy
Laser therapy is a new treatment technique used for temporomandibular disorders, as it has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, healing and blood circulation stimulating effects in the affected muscles, being very useful to relieve TMJ symptoms.
Surgery to treat temporomandibular disorders is reserved for specific or severe cases, such as pain caused by a fracture or the existence of a large deformity on the face.
In addition, it can also be indicated when symptoms are intense and there has been no improvement with clinical treatment, which happens only in rare cases.