If you’ve ever suffered from TMJ discomfort, you probably understand that it can be quite excruciating and might wonder what helps TMJ pain. TMJ disorder is complicated, so the discomfort associated manifests differently for everyone—from a sudden sting to a dull throbbing that rarely goes away. 

The good news is that antagonizing TMJ pain can be treated by various means. Serving San Francisco and surrounding communities, Dr. Mina Levi provides non-invasive TMJ therapies. So, schedule an appointment at California Dental Innovations if you feel any TMJ discomfort.

TMJ Exercises

Classic TMJ exercises can help ease the pinch of TMJ pain in a pinch! TMJ exercises can be quick to do, so you can easily incorporate them into your daily schedule. Some tide-and-true TMJ exercises include jaw relaxation, chin tucks, and creating gentle resistance to opening your mouth.

While TMJ strengthening and stretching are wonderful, it’s wise to speak to your dentist about what interventions they can provide to help with TMJ pain relief.

Mouthguard

If your dentist suspects TMJ disorder, she might recommend a mouthguard as the first line of defense. Sometimes called a splint (or orthotic or occlusal appliance), mouthguards help ease TMJ discomfort by preventing your teeth from clenching or grinding, correctly positioning your jaw, and relaxing your facial muscles.

It’s important to note that not just any mouthguard will work! An individualized, precise fit is necessary for your mouthguard to work its best. As time marches on, your dentist might need to make slight modifications to ensure proper fit.

Professional Trigger Point Massage

Colloquially nicknamed “muscle knots,” hyper-tensed and overused masseter muscles generally cause TMJ trigger points. Eventually, this can cause the jaw muscles to tense up, inflame, and feel uncomfortable.

Fortunately, some medical providers offer the magic of massage and manual therapy to mend those overworked jaw muscles through TMJ trigger point massages. Commonly, this works by kneading the knots and ropey muscle fibers at varying intensities to deliver sweet relief.

Orthodontic Treatment, Such as Invisalign®

Traditional braces and clear aligner therapy (Invisalign®) are among the most common and effective non-invasive treatments for TMJ. If your TMJ pain is triggered by misalignment, you might benefit from straightening your teeth and aligning your jaws. Consequently, addressing your misalignment adjusts the relationship between your teeth and jaws, eradicating TMJ pain.

BOTOX®

Although BOTOX® is famous for defying the laws of aging, it’s also a highly successful treatment for TMJ pain. The primary active ingredient in BOTOX® (botulinum toxin) works by freezing the muscle in this place. If you have chronic hyperactive jaw muscles, BOTOX®’s paralyzing effects can work in your favor by relaxing them.

Nerve Blocks

TMJ pain doesn’t have to be limited to your temporomandibular joint. For some, TMJ pain manifests in the head, neck, shoulders, and other body parts. For neuralgic pain in the trigeminal nerve, doctors can inject nerve block treatments to provide regional anesthesia.

Jaw Surgery

If you’ve exhausted all other options, suffer from consistent and severe discomfort, and can’t properly operate your jaw, you might be a good candidate for TMJ surgery. The three types of TMJ surgeries are arthrocentesis, arthroscopy, and open-joint surgery.

Dr. Mina Levi can help relieve TMJ pain in San Francisco, CA.

Are you suffering from jaw stiffness or pain that won’t go away? Find out how you can feel more comfortable by calling 415-513-5066 or messaging us online.