The diagnosis of TMD should be made by your dentist from a thorough medical and dental history as well as a clinical examination prior to any treatment.
TMD is best treated conservatively and aims to reduce pain and symptoms and restore jaw function.
Treatment methods include:
- Occlusal splints/night guards. These customised appliances are worn at night to relieve pressure on the jaw joint and teeth and protect the tooth surface from grinding. They need to be regularly adjusted by your dentist.
- Limiting extreme jaw movements e.g. supporting the jaw when you yawn, resting the jaw where possible
- Keeping to a soft diet, avoiding chewy food, cutting food up into small pieces.
- Physiotherapy e.g. gentle massage and stretching of the jaw muscles, relief of tension in the head and neck
- Warm or cold packs to relax the jaw muscles
- Relaxation techniques and stress management to reduce tension in your jaw muscles and joint
- Specialist management for cases of chronic pain and dysfunction and where conservative treatment has been ineffective. Rarely is surgery indicated.