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TMJ Treatment

Temporomandibular joint disorder affects the joint which connects your jawbone to either side of your skull. TMJ disorders cause pain in these joints and the muscles surrounding these joints. There are a variety of causes for TMJ disorders including heredity, injury, and arthritis. Those who clench or grind their teeth at night may have a TMJ disorder. The pain caused by TMJ disorders is chronic and and can persist until the TMJ disorder is treated.

Symptoms of TMJ may include headaches, sensitivity of the teeth, aching neck, misaligned jaw joints or dislocated jaw, or a clicking or popping sound when you open and close your mouth. You may experience stiffness in the jaw muscle or lockjaw.

Although there are some instances where TMJ is severe enough for surgical intervention, the vast majority of cases do not require surgery. Usually more conservative treatments are effective, including those listed below.

Self-Care Options

Although self-care does not usually solve the problem, it may remedy some of the symptoms of a TMJ disorder. Self-care TMJ treatment may include eating soft foods, applying ice to the the sore jaw muscle, stretching exercises, and avoiding extreme jaw movements.


Certain pain medications can provide temporary relief for the pain caused by a TMJ disorder. Usually, OTC pain meds such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can reduce swelling and pain and temporarily relieve jaw discomfort. Some more severe cases may require higher level pain medications like muscle relaxants to ease symptoms. Your dentist or physician will prescribe these if they are deemed necessary.

Splints & Oral Appliances

Certain oral appliances can help TMJ disorders. Often worn at night, stabilizing splints or bite guards fit over the teeth and adjust the position of the jaw. These devices also help prevent you from grinding your teeth at night, which will lead to a reduction of pain associated with TMJ.

If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, we urge you to talk to one of our dentists at Southwest Loop Dental. Our dentists are well-versed in treating TMJ disorders with a series of conservative treatment options. If your pain persists or is severe enough, our dental professionals will refer you to a TMJ specialist for further treatment.

Why live with the pain and discomfort of a TMJ disorder when Southwest Loop Dental has so many treatment options for you? Don’t wait until your TMJ pain gets worse. Call Southwest Loop Dental today to schedule a free consultation today!

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the services we offer, contact us at (312) 733-8040

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