Treatment of TMJ Pain

 

    The jaw joint is called the Temporo-Mandibular-Joint, and problems and/or pain associated with it are commonly called TMJ or TMJD. Clicking, popping, or pain in one  or both sides of the jaw joint is very common.

    Most often we see pain coming from our patients clenching and/or grinding their teeth.  Do you or your spouse notice you grinding at night? Do you clench your teeth during the day at work or during stressful events?  Even some common medications can cause grinding. We can typically see wear patterns on your teeth over time due to this, and in severe cases grinding can cause cracking or mobility of your teeth.  

Dr. Berry can do an examination of your TMJ and surrounding muscles to help determine the source of any discomfort or grinding you may have. She will discuss options to help which may include a dental appliance.

 

Recommendations for TMJ pain or flare up:

 

  • Try to avoid touching teeth together at any time other than eating.

  • Wear your custom fabricated night guard each night or as directed by Dr. Berry.

  • Choose a soft diet: Avoid chewy and crunchy foods until the pain subsides.

  • Avoiding biting on objects such as fingernails, pen caps, etc.

  • Avoid caffeine as this stimulates the muscles and can make the discomfort worse.

  • Applying warm moist heat a few times a day to the sore area can help relieve tenderness

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS) over the counter medication as needed such as Advil or Ibuprofen, taken as directed.

  • Magnesium Citrate supplement for muscle health: Slowly increase dosage starting at 1 pill or 200 mg for daily for 1 week up to 600-800 mg total. May cause GI upset if not slowly increasing the dose.

 

Instructions for your night guard:

  • If it is causing tooth soreness or any jaw discomfort, stop wearing and call our office for an adjustment.

  • Clean it daily with warm soapy water and designated toothbrush. Avoid using your toothbrush used for your teeth and toothpaste as it will wear it down quicker.

  • Avoid alcohol containing products like cleaners and mouthrinses. You can soak in a denture cleaner if desired.

  • Keep it in a safe place away from pets, especially dogs.

  • Do not leave your night guard in a hot car. It will distort the plastic and it will not fit.

  • Bring your night guard in to all dental appointments. If you notice any wear or notching, call the office for an adjustment.