TMJ Treatment

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) can affect people of all ages, including children! The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull and is essential for speaking, chewing, and opening the mouth. When there are problems in this area, it can cause pain, difficulty opening the mouth, clicking when chewing, and other uncomfortable symptoms.

What does pediatric TMJ treatment involve?

  1. Evaluation: The TMJ specialist dentist will examine the jaw and joint to determine the cause of the problem. This may involve asking questions about symptoms and conducting physical tests.
  2. Conservative Treatment: For many children, initial treatment involves conservative measures such as jaw rest, exercises to strengthen muscles, heat or cold therapy, and relaxation techniques to reduce tension in the jaw.
  3. Oral Devices: In some cases, the dentist may recommend oral devices such as night guards or mouthguards to help alleviate pressure on the temporomandibular joint during sleep or activities that may cause strain.
  4. Physical Therapy: For children with more severe problems, a physical therapy program focused on the jaw and surrounding muscles may be necessary to improve mobility and reduce pain.
  5. Medications: In certain cases, medications may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and relieve pain associated with TMJ. These may include over-the-counter or prescribed pain relievers, muscle relaxants, or anti-inflammatories.
  6. Education and Prevention: In addition to treatment, the dentist will provide education on how to prevent worsening of the problem. This may include advice on dietary habits, proper posture, exercises, and other preventive measures.