TMJ Pain Relief

TMJ Pain ReliefThe temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. TMJ disorders can cause pain in your jaw joint and the surrounding muscles. Pain from TMJ can be occasional or frequent and vary from mild to severe. A variety of steps can be taken to minimize, prevent, and treat TMJ pain.

The following steps can aid in minimizing TMJ pain before it starts.

– Eat soft foods, cut into small pieces
– Avoid sticky, chewy foods
– Avoid chewing gum and hard candies
– Exercise to strengthen jaw muscles
– Avoid chewing on objects such as pens
– Sleep with good posture and neck support
– Maintain proper posture

Non-invasive techniques for TMJ relief are great solutions for mild pain.

– Applying heat or cold
– Stretching your jaw as prescribed by dentist/physical therapist
– Massaging of jaw and temple
– Relaxation techniques like meditation

Related: TMJ Headache Treatment

When preventative treatment and medicine are combined TMJ pain can be treated effectively and efficiently.

– Over the counter pain relievers like Tylenol, Motrin, Advil
– Prescription muscle relaxers to relax the muscles around the jaw and joint
– Prescribed sedatives may help with jaw clenching at night

Non-medicinal treatments and therapies can help with ongoing TMJ pain.

– Bite/night guards to prevent teeth clenching
– Physical therapy
– Counseling to prevent behaviors that trigger TMJ pain like teeth grinding, mindless chewing etc.

Surgery & Procedures
As a latter option, a doctor or dentist may suggest a more invasive procedure to address your TMJ pain.

– Arthrocentesis is the insertion of needles into the joint to help remove inflammatory byproducts
– Corticosteroid injections like Botox
– Joint replacement surgery – controversial and should be avoided if possible
– Acupuncture

Related: Botox for TMJ Migraine Headaches

TMJ pain affects an estimated 10 million Americans. Using a variety of treatments such as preventative methods, therapy, and medicine can help reduce joint pain and prevent future TMJ disorders.

Want to learn about Botox pain treatment options in Plano, Texas area?

Plano Dentist David Wilhite Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience and can test and diagnose your TMJ Disorder. He will be able to discuss possible treatments to decide which is right for you.

We can also talk about affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the dental care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a Plano Texas Dentist who has helped hundreds of patients with TMJ treatment and relief. He has over 30 years experience in general and cosmetic dentistry.

New Tooth Sensor Monitors Oral Activity

The human mouth is almost always in use due to activities such as eating, drinking, talking and breathing.  This constant use of the mouth makes it a valuable source of health information about the entire body which is why a team of researchers from National Taiwan University developed a sensor to monitor oral activities.  The sensor can be fitted to a single tooth by straddling it or fitted inside of an artificial tooth.

A Wearable Device

The research team presented this device at the International Symposium on Wearable Computers in Switzerland this past September.  This sensor uses an accelerometer to monitor different oral activities and transfers the data to a computer with tiny wires.  The research team says that in the future the device will report data wirelessly via Bluetooth.  The motivation behind the sensor according to the researchers is the idea that each oral activity has “a unique teeth motion” that the sensor can measure which would create “classifiers” to categorize the different oral activities based on jaw movement.

Testing Accuracy

The researchers fitted eight volunteers with the sensor to test its accuracy.  The volunteers performed various oral activities such as coughing, eating, and talking while the data gathered by the sensor was used to create personal profiles of each volunteer’s oral activities.  The volunteers were then asked to repeat their activities while the sensor tried to distinguish the activities from each other.  The tooth sensor was accurate in recognizing the oral activity over 93% of the time when using a profile of activities created for each specific person.  This accuracy fell to 59.8% when the sensor used a more universal profile not specific to a single person.  Researchers believe that this accuracy can be improved by “extending the training set to include different sensor placements and oral activity types.”

Purpose of the Research

The ultimate purpose for this sensor is to collect information that could be useful to dentists, doctors, and other scientists regarding tooth grinding, eating and drinking habits, and stress levels.  The researchers also made sure to emphasize the safety requirements of the sensor with sealed electronic parts that allow the sensor to pass through the body harmlessly if swallowed.  They are currently working to improve the sensor and hope to have a wireless version available soon that can be fitted to a standard crown.  The team believes that this development would make tooth sensors part of the standard health monitoring procedure in both dental and health offices.


Advanced Yet Simplified Help for Jaw & Bite Problems

For many people the way their teeth fit together causes stress on the jaw muscles and joints. Numerous other people grind or clench their teeth. Regardless of the reason, a poor bite or frequent grinding or clenching can cause serious damage and pain to teeth, jawbone and the muscles and joints that control the jaw. Many people with these problems suffer from headaches, head and neck muscle pain as well as ear pain, including popping and clicking noises near the ear when they open or close the mouth.

These bite problems result in the jaw muscles never getting a chance to rest. They are overworked, fatigued and go into spasm. Some people can wear their teeth right down to the gum line, some will experience loose teeth, and some will have pain in or near the ear and possibly radiating over the head and neck. The muscles need a chance to rest. A new device, known as an NTI-tss, can provide rest for the muscles and thus alleviate all these symptoms. It is quicker to fabricate than previous appliances used for these problems, and it has been shown to give more complete relief. It is so effective that the FDA has approved it for reduction of pain for migraine headache sufferers. It is custom fitted to your upper front teeth, and provides a flat surface for your lower front teeth to rest on, in whatever position is comfortable for your jaw muscles. It also helps break the cycle of grinding or clenching, which other appliances used in the past did not do.

For more information on the NTI mouthguard or for answers to your questions about TMJ treatment, contact us online or by phone.