Healthy Blog

Temporo-Mandibular Joint Treatments – What’s Best for You?

Monday, December 07, 2015

The Temporo-Mandibular joints (TMJ’s) are located at the point where the upper and lower jaws meet.  The symptoms of TMJ syndrome are often frequent headaches, pain inside the ear, a ringing sound in the ears and dizziness – amongst others signs.

The causes of TMJ are varied and could include psychological stress or bio-mechanical problems linked to your teeth.  Therefore, it’s important you see a specialist in TMJ problems who’ll be able to give you a complete diagnosis and suggest the best treatment for you.

TMJ Treatments

While there are measures you can take to ease TMJ pain, there isn’t a special medication that can cure the condition.  If the pain is bad enough to interfere with your normal daily life, your doctor will probably prescribe painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the swelling.

In some cases, TMJ treatment can be a mouth guard or splint, which is helpful if you have bruxism or compulsive grinding of the teeth.  The splint makes it difficult to clench your teeth and helps to break you of a habit that’s causing pain and swelling.  In rare cases, people require surgery to improve the position of their teeth and reduce jaw pain caused by physical strain.

Others find that a few visits to a psychologist are helpful to reduce their anxiety levels, which may be causing extreme tension to build up in the jaw.  And in these cases a short course of anti-depressants or tranquilizers may be prescribed to help overcome the situation that’s creating anxiety.

Physiotherapy

Whatever the cause of your temporo-mandibular joint condition, after diagnosis specialists usually suggests a course of physiotherapy.  This is because physiotherapy treatment can greatly reduce TMJ symptoms like pain, muscle spasm and swelling. 

The physio will do a careful assessment of your condition and design a tailor-made treatment just for you.  This will probably include heat or ultrasound treatment, relaxing massage, posture correcting exercise and exercises to relax your face and jaw.

In some cases, physiotherapy is the only treatment required to rectify a temporo-mandibular joint condition and prevent the symptoms from coming back.