Effective treatment should:
• Lessen or relieve your pain • Restore your jaw function • Minimise any noises from your jaw joint
• Enable you to carry out your normal daily activities
In some people, the treatment plan may take several months to be effective.
For best results, follow your treatment plan carefully. It may include some or all of the following treatments.
Occlusal appliance therapy
Occlusal splints (also known as bite plates) may be used to take pressure off the jaw joints and teeth. Custom made by your dentist, they must be adjusted regularly and monitored for some months to help relieve pain.
To minimise chewing and rest the jaw, eat only soft foods. When a small amount of chewing is necessary, try to chew on both sides of the mouth. Do not favour one side.
Avoid extreme jaw movement
Exercises, massage, gentle movement and muscle stretching can be effective in reducing pain and stiffness, and increasing strength and mobility.
Warm or cold packs
Muscle relaxation can be achieved by applying warm or cold packs to tender areas.
Relaxation and stress management
Learn how to relax and lessen stress. This can reduce tension in the jaw joint. Dr Van Vuuren may recommend a stress management program.
In some cases, Dr Van Vuuren may recommend short-term medication to help relieve symptoms and assist other treatment methods. Dr Van Vuuren may prescribe a painkiller, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety agent, anti-depressant, sedative or muscle relaxant. Take medication only as directed.