TMD Can Be Treated With Home Remedies and Help from a Dentist

TMD is a serious disorder than can cause extreme discomfort in people’s lives. If you believe that you are suffering from TMD, you should visit a dental clinic for a diagnosis. If you do have TMD, your dentist will suggest treatment options to help.

What is TMD?

The jaw is connected to the skull by the temporomandibular joint, which operates as a hinge to allow your jaw to move and function. TMD is short for temporomandibular disorder, and it refers to problems with the jaw, temporomandibular joint or muscles in the face. It doesn’t have one definite cause, and it can arise from issues like arthritis, teeth grinding, stress or clenching of the jaw or teeth. It is found most commonly in women and in people who are in their twenties and thirties. TMD can cause intense pain and discomfort in those who suffer from it, and its symptoms are similar to those of several other conditions, like gum disease, tooth cavities or sinus issues. For these reasons, is important to see a dentist for proper diagnosis and treatment if you think that you might be affected by the condition.

How is TMD Treated?

Your dentist will assess your individual situation and help you form an appropriate treatment plan. Most treatments for TMD will begin with simple, home-based remedies to see if they help. If these conservative treatment options don’t work, you may need surgery to resolve your condition. Most dentists will suggest a combination of the following strategies to help resolve TMD:

Medication. Your dentist may suggest that you take over-the-counter medications like anti-inflammatories or painkillers to help relieve your symptoms. As TMD can also be caused by factors like stress or teeth grinding, your dentist may also prescribe muscle relaxants, anti-depressants or narcotic painkillers for you to take, as well.

Alternating Heat and Ice. In order to loosen and strengthen the muscles in your jaw, your dentist may suggest that you alternate between ice packs and moist heat compresses. You may also be given easy jaw stretching exercises to do between the ice and heat.

Less Chewing. Chewing can be difficult or painful for people with TMD, and eating hard or crunchy foods can make symptoms worse. Your dentist may suggest switching to a diet of soft, easily chewed foods.

Night guard. Your dentist can fit you with a custom night guard for you to wear as you sleep. This will keep you from grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw as you sleep, which can reduce or eliminate symptoms of your TMD.

You don’t have to live with the pain and discomfort caused by TMD. Speak with your dentist for an examination and help managing your symptoms. There are several nonsurgical remedies for TMD that dentists can help you with.