TMD treatments in Eau Claire WI range from simple self-care practices and traditional treatments to injections and surgery. Most experts agree that treatment should begin with conservative, nonsurgical therapies first, with surgery as the last resort. Many of the treatments listed below work best when used in combination with each other.
Use moist heat or cold packs. Apply an ice pack to the side of your face and temple area for approximately 10 minutes. Perform a few simple stretching exercises for your jaw (as instructed by your dentist or physical therapist). When finished, apply a warm towel or washcloth to the side of your face for about 5 minutes. Perform this sequence a few times each day.
Eat softer foods. Eat soft foods such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, soup, scrambled eggs, fish, cooked fruits and vegetables, beans and grains. In addition, cut foods into small pieces to decrease the amount of chewing you’ll need to do. Avoid hard and crunchy foods like hard rolls, pretzels, raw carrots, chewy foods like caramels and taffy and thick, and large foods that require your mouth to open wide to consume.
Take medications for TMD treatment in Eau Claire WI. To relieve muscle pain and swelling, try over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Your dentist can prescribe higher doses of these or other drugs for pain such as narcotic pain relievers.
For people who grind or clench their teeth, muscle relaxants can help ease tight jaw muscles. Anti-anxiety medications can help relieve stress that is sometimes thought to aggravate TMD. Antidepressants, when used in low doses, can also help reduce or control pain and be used as a TMD treatment. Muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety drugs, and antidepressants are available by prescription only.
Wear a splint or night guard. Splints and night guards are plastic mouthpieces that are placed on the upper and lower teeth. They prevent the upper and lower teeth from coming together, lessening the effects of clenching or grinding the teeth. They also correct the bite by positioning the teeth in their most accurate and least traumatic position. The main difference between splints and night guards is that night guard is only worn at night and splints are worn 24 hours a day for 7 days. Your dentist will discuss with you what type of mouth guard you may need.
Get corrective dental treatments. Replace missing teeth using crowns, bridges, or braces to equalize the biting surfaces of your teeth or to correct a bite problem.
Learning relaxation techniques to help control muscle tension in the jaw. Ask your dentist about the need for physical therapy or massage. Consider stress reduction therapy, including biofeedback for TMD treatment in Eau Claire WI.
Avoid extreme jaw movements. Keep yawning and chewing (especially gum or ice) to a minimum and try to avoid extreme jaw movements such as yelling or singing.
Don’t rest your chin on your hand or hold the telephone between your shoulder and ear. Practice good posture to reduce neck and facial pain.
Keep your teeth slightly apart as often as you can to relieve pressure on the jaw. To control clenching or grinding during the day, place your tongue between your teeth.
If you are suffering from jaw pain, you don’t have to! Contact our office today to schedule a consultation so we can discuss your options for TMD treatment in Eau Claire WI.