Benefits of TMJ Treatment

You shouldn’t ignore TMJ symptoms, even if they’re relatively minor initially. With TMJ treatment, you’ll enjoy:

Relief from Symptoms

Most importantly, TMJ treatment can reduce or eliminate your symptoms. This means fewer headaches, less jaw pain, less neck pain, less ear ringing, and more. 

Fewer Complications

TMJ treatment can help you head off complications related to your condition. People with TMJ often develop serious tooth damage, which can lead to a need for expensive restorative dentistry. In addition, TMJ can damage your jaw joint, which may eventually need surgical treatment. 

Reduce Reliance on Medications

People with TMJ often rely on medications to control symptoms. Even over-the-counter (OTC) medications have side effects and risks, which are worse if you are relying on them for relief on a daily basis. 

Improved Overall Health

TMJ complications can affect your overall health. This might be due to complications of tooth problems, medication side effects, or radiating effects from TMJ itself. Treating TMJ can help prevent and address these complications. 

Better Quality of Life

You’ll feel better with TMJ treatment. People living in chronic pain not only find it harder to work and live life to its fullest, but they can also develop depression, anxiety, and psychological complications. 

Reduced Treatment Cost

Treating TMJ early can reduce the overall cost of treatment. It costs less to treat TMJ now, and you will avoid the costs linked to TMJ complications. 

Home Care for TMJ

Many cases of TMJ don’t require professional care. If you experience TMJ symptoms, you can start caring for the condition at home. Some common home care strategies include:

  • Resting your jaw
  • Taking OTC medications
  • Applying hot or cold compresses
  • Jaw exercises

Resting your jaw can provide relief from TMJ symptoms. Good strategies include talking less and eating soft foods. Also, avoid opening your mouth too wide. Don’t eat large foods, and try to control your yawns. 

OTC medications can provide relief from pain. In addition, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) can combat the inflammation that causes some TMJ symptoms. Ensure you’re taking it according to label directions unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. 

A cold compress can relieve pain and combat inflammation. A hot compress is good for muscle soreness but can aggravate inflammation. If you have muscle soreness, alternating the two types of compresses can be very effective, but if you don’t know the cause of soreness, stick to a cold compress. 

Jaw exercises can be effective, but they can also be damaging. Although it’s easy to find instructions for jaw exercises online, don’t start them before consulting with a TMJ dentist. Your dentist will direct you to exercises effective for your TMJ and ensure you know how to perform exercises properly to avoid injury. 

When to Seek Professional Care

Although home care can be effective for TMJ, you should seek professional care if symptoms:

  • Interfere with daily activities
  • Worsen under home care
  • Persist for more than seven days or recur
  • Don’t respond to OTC medications

These are signs that your TMJ requires professional care. 

hand holding an oral appliance for TMJ treatmentTMJ Treatment Options

If your TMJ treatment doesn’t resolve under home care, professional TMJ treatment can provide effective relief. At Smile On Dental Studio, we offer multiple treatment options, including:

  • TENS
  • Oral appliance
  • Bite reconstruction

We might also recommend home care to help support these treatments or refer you for additional care if necessary. 


Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a well-established treatment method for tense, sore muscles. It stimulates your muscles in a certain way that helps them work out their tension. It’s like getting your muscles to massage themselves. 

In our office, we typically use TENS as a diagnostic tool, helping us to see how your jaw functions when your muscles are relaxed. However, periodic TENS sessions are the only TMJ treatment necessary for some people.

Oral Appliances for TMJ

An oral appliance, or orthotic, holds your jaw in a certain place to relax the muscles. It can also help train your jaw muscles to avoid uncomfortable positions. At first, you may wear your oral appliance all day. Over time, this can reduce to overnight or periodic wear. 

Bite Reconstruction

Bite reconstruction adjusts your teeth to hold your jaw in a healthy and comfortable position without an oral appliance. Some people request this to maintain their results without wearing their appliance. Other people want this to repair TMJ’s damage to their teeth. 

Bite reconstruction may include orthodontics, restorations like dental crowns and implants, or both. 

Get TMJ Relief in St. Louis

Are you suffering from TMJ symptoms? Let TMJ dentist Dr. Chris Hill help. Please call (314) 678-7876 or use our online form to request an appointment at Smile On Dental Studio today.