In dentistry and medicine, there’s a distinct difference between a treatment and a cure. When we talk about curing TMJ disorder, we mean completely eliminating it and all of its symptoms permanently. In contrast, a treatment offers an improvement of symptoms, but you still have TMD. It’s easy to find dental practices that offer treatment for TMJ pain, but at TMJ Plus Wellness Center, we also offer many of our patients cures for TMJ disorder.
Understanding Symptoms vs. Their Underlying Cause
Self-managed care is often recommended as a first line of treatment for TMJ disorder. Most of these strategies target the symptoms of TMD, not the underlying cause. A warm compress may relieve the pain in your jaw, but why was it painful in the first place? Avoiding a chewy bagel in the break room at work might prevent your symptoms from acting up, but why can everyone else enjoy them and you can’t?
This is why Dr. Coats performs a careful analysis of your symptoms, as well as a complete examination of your jaw and teeth, to determine the underlying cause of your pain. Only then can you find lasting relief for your TMD. Many dentists take a one-size-fits-all approach to TMJ disorder, offering all of their patients nightguards no matter the cause of their joint dysfunction, while doctors may focus only on relieving your symptoms by prescribing medications for your pain and muscle tension.
At TMJ Plus Wellness Center, we take a multi-pronged approach that starts by providing you immediate relief for your symptoms. Then, we move forward with Phase 1 and Phase 2 treatments that offer a long-term cure by resolving the dysfunction at the root of your chronic pain.
Treating TMJ Pain
Resolving TMJ pain permanently takes time, so our first priority is helping you feel better so you can be more present in your day-to-day life. We use one or more of the following therapies at the beginning of your treatment:
- Spray and stretch
- Trigger point injections
- Hot and cold therapy
- TENS therapy
- Pain relief appliances
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Muscle relaxer medication
- SPG nerve block
Phase 1: TMJ Disorder Treatment
Next, we move onto Phase 1 TMJ treatment. Oftentimes, this involves an orthotic device that allows you to retrain your jaw by eating, chewing, and functioning in its optimal position. Phase 1 TMD treatment includes any of the following:
- TMJ orthotics
- Nite Bite reposition appliance
- Oral sleep appliance
- Decay removal
- Infection removal
Phase 2: A Potential TMJ Cure
Unfortunately, we can’t promise everyone who comes to our office a permanent cure for their TMJ pain, but our Phase 2 options offer true, lifelong relief for many of our patients. These are long-term, non-surgical treatment options that resolve the cause of your temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Phase 2 treatment options include:
- TMJ orthodontics
- TMJ bite rehabilitation
- TMJ dentures