What are the treatments?

October 9, 2019

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.
  • Physiotherapy
  • Replacing missing teeth to balance the bite. If this is appropriate, it will have been discussed with you.

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Recognised by major healthcare providers

Nicholas Lee: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Sheffield UK