Are There Non-Surgical Alternatives to Dealing With TMJ?

Tmj Forest Hills, NY

Anyone who has ever had TMJ knows the difficulties it can cause. Living with this condition of the jaw can make it difficult to chew, eat, or open and close the mouth for any reason. The causes of this disorder are not always clear to dentists. But what is certain is that it can be a painful, uncomfortable condition to endure. If you believe this joint in your jaw is injured, talk to your dentist right away. There are some ways to treat these problems without having to do surgery.

How a person can tell they have TMJ

The temporomandibular joint controls the movement in a person’s jaw. There is one on each side of the jaw, both of which connect to the skull. The TMJ disorder is evident when there is excessive, persistent pain and discomfort in the jaw. There can also be swelling and tenderness in this area. A person with this condition may also have pain in and around the ear and around the shoulders and neck. It is also possible for this condition to produce popping sounds when the person is chewing or speaking.


Some people choose to try some treatments at home before going to see the dentist. It can also be helpful to do this in between dental appointments if the pain does not subside. Placing a cold-compression pack or ice pack on the jaw can reduce the discomfort in this joint. Over-the-counter medications such as anti-inflammatories (namely Ibuprofen) can also temporarily relieve jaw pain. To minimize the risk of suffering additional pain and soreness, someone with TMJ should be cautious about eating hard or chewy foods.

Higher-strength medication

If non-prescription drugs do not seem to be effective in soothing the effects of TMJ, the dentist may want to prescribe something else. Prescription pain relievers can give the patient longer-lasting help against the effects of this condition. The dentist may also consider prescribing a muscle relaxant. There are also medications designed to help an individual sleep more effectively, allowing the person to get a good night’s rest in spite of having jaw pain.

Physical therapy

Coping with TMJ may be a matter of making the jaw and the temporomandibular joint stronger. Stretching exercises can improve flexibility and range of motion in the jaw. These exercises may occur in the office under the dentist’s supervision. The dentist may also teach the patient how to do them at home.


Sometimes, talking to the dentist can be an effective way to overcome TMJ. The dentist may ask the patient about habits that possibly aggravate the condition. These may include clenching or grinding teeth, or perhaps biting on fingernails or other objects. These discussions can help the patient see what is causing the pain. The dentist can help the patient recognize the importance of avoiding these activities.

Alternative approaches to combatting this disorder are available

Are you struggling with TMJ? You do not necessarily need surgery to correct the effects of the condition. These techniques can work well to relieve pain and control these problems in the jaw. Talk to your dentist today about which strategies may make the most sense for you.

Are you considering getting TMJ treatment in the Forest Hills area? Get more information at

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