Treatment varies, depending on whether you are suffering from
myofacial pain dysfunction, internal derangement of the temporomandibular joint, or a combination of both.
On the whole, treatment is aimed at trying to reduce the workload of the muscles, to align the disc of cartilage to return to a normal position in the joint.
Some of these treatments are:
- A soft diet that requires little chewing; this allows overworked
muscles to rest.
- Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications (e.g. Nurofen) are good and can be either taken as tablets or applied as gel on the outside of the joint.
- Heat, e.g. warm water in a hot water bottle (avoid boiling water) wrapped in a towel and applied to the side of the face.
- Identifying and stopping any habits, such as chewing or grinding. Remember that these may be subconscious, i.e. you may not be aware of them.
- Relaxation therapy and learning techniques to control tension and stress.
- Jaw joint exercises. The exercises that are best for you, will have been discussed by the doctor seeing you. Please remember to carry them out as instructed.
- Resting the joint as much as possible, e.g. avoiding yawning
- Providing a clear plastic splint that fits over the teeth and is worn mainly at night. This helps support the joint and the surrounding muscles.
- Replacing missing teeth to balance the bite. If this is appropriate, it will have been discussed with you.