Treatment of TMJ – Non-Invasive and Surgical Methods


TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disease, is a painful condition affecting the jaw joint and its surrounding muscles. Many people suffer from TMJ, but few are aware of long-term treatment options. TMJ can be totally resolved for some people with the right treatment and management, which can range from physical therapy to surgery.

With the assistance of your dental experts, you can determine the best TMJ disorder treatment option for yourself.

What Is TMJ?

TMJ problem is a common condition that affects the hinge joint that connects the jawbone to the skull, resulting in pain, discomfort, and difficulties moving the jaw. TMJ dysfunction can affect several aspects of the body, including the ears, head, neck, and shoulders. If left untreated, it can result in severe problems, including lifelong joint impairment.

Symptoms of TMJ

The symptoms of TMJ dysfunction differ from person to person. They can spread to other parts of the body, making diagnosis difficult without a comprehensive examination by a dental specialist.

Common symptoms may include:

  • Jaw pain on one or both sides;
  • Shoulder or neck ache;
  • Stiffness in the neck or jaw;
  • Having trouble opening or closing your mouth;
  • Jaw clicks or pops;
  • Headaches;
  • Earaches;
  • Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears;
  • Toothaches;
  • Malocclusion, or deformation of your bite.
Causes of TMJ

Several factors can induce TMJ dysfunction, including:

  • Teeth grinding, or bruxism;
  • Jaw trauma, such as a fracture or dislocation;
  • Arthritis;
  • Stress;
  • Poorly positioned teeth;
  • Misaligned bite.

Infections or tumors in the joint, hormonal changes, and hereditary predisposition can all contribute to TMJ. Identifying the source of your TMJ condition is critical to determining the best treatment choices available.

Is TMJ Treatable?

The goal of treating TMJ condition is to ease pain, reduce inflammation, and restore appropriate jaw function. With correct therapy, TMJ can be entirely eliminated. Treatment options may vary depending on the degree and origin of the disorder.

Visit your dentist

The first step in treating TMJ is to see your dentist. A professional diagnosis and treatment plan is needed. A dentist will assess the alignment of your jaw and teeth and recommend a course of therapy. Treatment alternatives include:

  • Wear a nightguard to prevent your teeth from grinding;
  • Get a dental splint to straighten your jaw;
  • Undergoing orthodontic treatment to straighten crooked teeth.
Physical therapy

Physical therapists who specialize in TMJ treatment can help straighten the jaw and strengthen the surrounding muscles. Physical treatment may consist of jaw exercises to increase jaw movement, soft tissue mobilization to relax stiff muscles, and electrical stimulation to encourage muscle repair.

Non-invasive treatments

Your dentist can also offer nonsurgical therapies for TMJ issues. Some of these supplemental approaches are:

  • Trigger point injections

Corticosteroids or botulinum toxin injections can be administered in painful areas. Alternatively, dry needling can be utilized instead of injecting anti-inflammatories or neurotoxins.

  • Ultrasound therapy

While ultrasound is commonly associated with imaging, it can also be used therapeutically to give heat and stimulate blood flow, muscle relaxation, and tissue healing.

  • Lifestyle changes

Do not bite into hard foods like nuts, raw carrots, ice, and gum.

Regular exercise, appropriate posture, and stress management practices can all help keep TMJ from reoccurring.


If less intrusive therapies fail to cure your TMJ, surgery may be necessary. A variety of surgical options are available, including:

  • Arthroscopy is key-hole surgery that involves inserting surgical instruments through a small tube, camera, and light to remove scar tissue, reposition the disk in the joint, or sculpt the bone;
  • Open-joint surgery needs an incision for your surgeon to directly access the jaw joint.

Surgery is normally recommended only when all other therapies have failed, and the TMJ is causing severe pain or significantly impairing jaw function.

How to Prevent TMJ

While jaw damage is not always avoided, early treatment can help heal TMJ before symptoms worsen. Prevention of TMJ disorders includes:

  • Keeping healthy oral hygiene routines;
  • Avoid chewing gum and hard foods;
  • Maintaining proper posture;
  • Applying relaxation methods;
  • Taking regular breaks while sitting for lengthy durations;
  • Practicing stress-reducing activities can help prevent TMJ disorders.

Maintaining an active lifestyle, including regular exercise, can help lower the risk of TMJ. 

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Tuesday, 21 May 2024