At Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics, we use the best medical practices for treating your TMJ. That means we use the treatments that have the best scientific evidence to support their use, but there are many other treatments that some people use to help them get results. These are especially effective for pain relief during the early treatment period, as your TMJ therapies are beginning to take effect.
This page contains information on some of the more common alternative or complementary therapies used in TMJ treatment. If you are considering any of these treatments, please call 509-532-1111 (Spokane) or 509-927-2273 (Spokane Valley) or email Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics today to talk to a neuromuscular dentist about the benefits and limitations of the treatment.
In addition to your in-office TMJ treatment, there are many things you can do at home that can reduce the discomfort of your jaw. These include:
- Avoiding hard foods, and especially avoid chewing hard non-foods like ice and pens
- Getting massage for your sore muscles
- Applying hot and cold packs alternately
These basic remedies can reduce the pain you experience and may reduce the amount of progressive damage you experience in your bones and teeth due to TMJ.
There are no good studies linking nutritional supplements to TMJ improvement, but here are some things that have been suggested.
Flavonoids are antioxidants commonly found in fruits and vegetables. They may reduce jaw pain.
Magnesium and calcium have also been said to reduce jaw pain, but should be taken with care after consulting with us about possible interactions with medications.
Glucosamine and vitamin C both encourage your body to make more cartilage, which may help if degraded cartilage in your joint is responsible for your TMJ.
Yoga can help with many components of TMJ. It can reduce stress and muscle tension. It can also improve your overall muscle tone and control, which may reduce strain on your muscles.
Many people feel that acupuncture treatments have helped reduce their TMJ pain. There are no good studies about the benefits of acupuncture for TMJ patients.
Biofeedback monitors your muscle and nervous system activity so you can see and respond in a way that minimizes activity, which might reduce muscle tension and pain.
Massage and Chiropractic Treatment
Some people experience pain relief through manual massage or chiropractic adjustment. There have been some studies linking TMJ with misaligned cervical vertebrae, but it’s unclear whether chiropractic adjustments can actually improve your TMJ.
Talk to Us before Trying Alternative or Complementary Treatment
The impact of most alternative or complementary TMJ treatments is minor, but in some cases it can interfere with your primary treatment. This may make treatment times longer and may diminish the quality of your results.
None of these treatments are actually true alternative treatments. They cannot take the place of treatments designed to correct your bite and give you a healthy, balanced TMJ system. At best, these alternatives may diminish pain, masking the progressive nature of your condition.
If you want to get TMJ relief, we will need to improve your bite, which may require dental restorations, an orthotic or bite splint, or joint surgery.
For more information about the TMJ treatment options available, please contact Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics today for an appointment at our office in Spokane or the Spokane Valley.