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TMJ Treatment Options

TMJ Disorder (TMD) are a wide range of problems affecting 5%-13% of the US adult population. Fortunately, several TMJ disorder pain treatment options are available. These options include lifestyle modifications, Surgical and None-surgical treatments.

In general, TMD is not commonly a life-threatening. But, it may ruins your lifestyle and interfere with your normal daily activities.

Lifestyle Modification

1. Awareness

Understanding the causes and treatment options for Temporomandibular joint disorder is the first step for successful treatment. 

2. Cut on Caffeine, Alcohol and Smoking

Caffeine, alcohol, and smoking may worsen your TMJ pain. Therefore, we recommend cutting on using these three things.

3. Stress-reduction

Stress cause pain. Stress reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, traveling, and breathing exercises can reduce your TMJ pain. Above all, stress reduction is also great for your overall health. 

4. Habit Correction

Many habits contribute to TMJ disorders. Therefore, stopping these habits is an important step towards successful TMD treatment.

  • Do not eat chewy food.
  • Avoid hard candy.
  • Avoid large bites.
  • Do not chew ice.
  • Do not bite your nails or pencils.
  • Eat healthy food rich in fibers.
  • Visits to your dentist regularly. 

Non-Surgical TMJ Treatment Options

1. Oral Splints or Mouth Guards

Mouth guards are commonly used for Temporomandibular joint disorder treatment. Mouth guards are best for TMJ pain relief caused by sleep bruxism. Oral splints can also help reduce TMJ pain associated with arthritis. Theoretically, a mouth guard works as teeth cushion to stop them from grinding against each. 

Dr. Khalifeh recommend using a full coverage custom-made hard or semi hard occlusal splints for most TMD conditions.

2. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is an important treatment options for muscles and joint pain. Above all, physical therapy proven to be effective in reducing TMJ pain and restoring TMJ function. However, physical therapy using self-treatment protocol is free and easy to use by TMJ patients. 

3. Bite Correction

Reshaping the biting surface of the teeth might help TMJ pain. However, this procedure should be used carefully because it might cause teeth sensitivity.

However, patients who lost most of the enamel caused by teeth grinding may need full mouth reconstruction to correct their bite. 

4. Orthodontics

Patients with Temporomandibular joint disorder caused by malocclusion benefit from orthodontic treatment. However, orthodontics might increase TMJ pain during active treatment. Therefore, orthodontic treatment should be coordinated between an orthodontist and TMJ specialist for TMJ patients. 

5. Ultrasound Therapy

Ultrasound (US) therapy is widely used to treat muscle and joint pain. US generate heat and vibration to help reduce TMJ pain.

6. Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)

Low Level Laser therapy is commonly used to treat muscle pain. There is scientific evidence that LLLT may be helpful for TMJ disorders treatment. Therefore, using LLLT is used by Dr. Khalifeh as an alternative treatment option.

7. Message Therapy 

Message treatment is soothing and can help reduce TMJ pain by loosening the tight muscles. When done wrong, message treatment my cause more damage than help.  

8. Biofeedback

Biofeedback therapy will teach you to control your jaw muscle movements using visual, vibratory, or sound feedback generated by a special devise called electromyography. Additionally, this treatment will help patient be aware of their habits that might be causing their TMD pain.

9. Medications

A variety of prescription and over the counter medications (OTC) are commonly used to treat TMJ disorder pain. Dr. Khalifeh recommends that TMD patients should use medications to treat TMD only after consulting with and TMJ or orofacial pain specialist.

10. Jaw Muscles Exercises

Dr. Khalifeh recommends jaw muscles exercises for his TMD patients. Visit our post simple exercises for TMJ relief to learn more about jaw muscle exercises.

11. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) 

TENS treatment uses low-level electrical currents to relax your jaw joint muscles. Above all, TENS can be done at home or at a TMJ specialist office.

Injections and Needling

1. Trigger Point Injections (TPI)

TPI are used when your TMJ specialist find the most tender point in your facial muscles and inject that point with a special type of local anesthesia. Therefore, an immediate TMJ pain relief is expected when your pain is originating from the injected muscle.

2. TMJ Injection

This is very helpful for TMJ arthritis. Dr. Khalifeh will inject a steroid material or a lubricating liquid into your TMJ capsule that will help reduce your TMJ pain symptoms. However, the injection might be repeated every few months as needed.

3. Nerve Block

Nerve block is used when the TMJ pain is caused by pressure or trauma to nerves in the head and facial region. Local anesthesia mixed with steroid may be used in this procedure. In general, nerve block can give 3-4 months of pain relief.

4. BOTOX Injection

Dr. Khalifeh Published a study on BOTOX for muscle pain in the head and neck. He concluded that BOTOX may reduce TMJ disorder muscle pain.

Click her to learn more about BOTOX for TMJ.

5. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a traditional eastern medicine used by the chines thousands of years ago. This treatment option is an excellent alternative treatment for TMJ patients who cannot use pain medications.

Surgical Treatment for TMJ disorders

1. Arthrocentesis

Arthrocentesis is used for joint diseases such as painful TMJ arthritis and jaw locking. Needles and fluids are used to clean and drain the TMJ spaces and reduce TMJ pain associated with inflammation and joint infection.

2. Arthroscopy and Arthroscopic surgery

Arthroscopy is an advanced microsurgery procedure. A small camera will be insert into the TMJ to examine the joint tissue. Micro surgical tools may be used during the procedure to perform TMJ microsurgery to help remove and repair damaged TMJ tissue. Above all, this procedure may help reduce TMJ pain and restore function when none-surgical treatment fail.

3. Open Joint surgery

Open TMJ surgery is used for advanced TMJ conditions such as TMJ ankylosis, advanced arthritis, cancer involving the TMJ and major traumatic injuries the TMJ. However, TMJ surgery might involve partial or complete TMJ replacement.

Who You Should See for TMJ Treatment in Los Angeles?

 Dr. Mohammad Khalifeh, DDS, MS. Is board-certified Orofacial Pain and TMJ specialist. Additionally, he is a Diplomate American Board of Orofacial Pain. Above all, Dr. Khalifeh is TMD and Orofacial Pain Board Certified doctor. Additionally, for over 25 years, Dr. Khalifeh is helping patients with TMJ and jaw pain in Los Angeles, Miracle Mile, Park La Brea, Beverly Hills, Larchmont Village, Hollywood, Santa Monica, California, and the rest of the word.

Our address: SAG-AFTRA Plaza, 5757 Wilshire Blvd., Suite #5, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Phone: (323) 933-3855


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