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TMD Treatments: Which Should I Choose?

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TMD Treatments: Which Should I Choose?

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) relates to jaw joint issues which affect the opening and closing of your mouth. In addition, teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism) is associated with TMD. TMD is treatable but will vary depending on the diagnosis. Those affected will need a customized treatment plan. However, experts often advise beginning with nonsurgical treatments. This is due in part because patients may have minor symptoms. Likewise, some symptoms may even fade away on their own. For these reasons, learning about different TMD treatments is important. Learn more about TMD treatments below and contact My McLean Dentist today.

Orthotic Device

Orthotic devices fit over your teeth and prevent the lower and upper teeth from touching. It establishes an ideal bite and allows the muscles to relax. Depending on the design of the orthotic, orthotic devices can either remove pressure from the jaw joints offering them a chance to heal or allow the muscles to fully relax. This treatment will vary between patients as the dentist will provide unique instructions. 

Ice Packs, Moist Heat, and Exercise 

Ice helps to relax tight muscles which are likely to cause spasms. Applying ice packs for at least 10 minutes on the side of your face will ease your jaw muscles. Follow that with simple exercises as directed by your dentist.

Soft Foods

Softer foods allow your jaw and muscles to relax. The less strain, the better. For this reason, we recommend choosing softer foods to eat when possible. Avoid choices like nuts, caramel, popcorn, granola, almonds, etc. Likewise, it is helpful to cut food into smaller pieces.


Over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications help to reduce discomfort and swelling. Ask your dentist which medicine regimen they recommend for your unique situation.

Additional TMD Treatments

For more complicated TMD cases, the following may be recommended.

  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation- This is a form of therapy that uses low-level electrical currents to help relax the facial and jaw joint muscles.
  • Trigger-point injections- The dentist injects anesthetic or pain medicine into facial muscles to help relieve pain. While medication is working, it is recommended for the patient to engage their jaw muscles with simple exercises.
  • Surgery- A surgical procedure may be recommended when other treatments have been exhausted. Oftentimes, the patient is referred to a maxillofacial surgeon for this procedure.

Learn More About TMD Treatments

Overall, TMD treatments will vary between patients. It is important to note that treating TMD early on is essential to maintain great oral health. Additionally, patients improve their quality of life by not suffering from pain and discomfort. 

Learn more about TMD treatments by contacting My McLean Dentist today. We offer a variety of dental services including orthotic devices. Likewise, our state-of-the-art technology assures our patients receive top-quality dental care. 

If you feel you may have TMD, schedule an exam and consultation today. Our highly trained team will assure you receive a thorough evaluation and answer any questions you may have. New patients are always welcome! Book your appointment online or speak with our team at 703-912-0575. Our office is located at 1826 Westmoreland St. McLean, VA 22101. We look forward to meeting you.

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