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FAQ:  TMJ / TMD - Jaw Joint Pain



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TMJ Dysfunction Ask The Periodontist Marie Schweinebraten Question:
I found out I have TMJ. It took doctors 2 years to diagnose.

I have been wearing a mouth guard for 5 weeks and noticed a tiny improvement. Will My TMJ ever go away?

As I am on Panadol morning and night but would love to go off tablets for good. Also are there other treatments like laser treatment or something else that will help get rid of it? ...Visitor from Australia

Answer:
TMJ problems are difficult ones to treat.

A biteguard will help the symptoms, but it takes time for the results to occur and be noticeable. 5 weeks is not enough time to see the greatest effect.

If it is a hard biteguard (made out of a hard plastic materialand the best for this type of treatment), then it should be adjusted regularly by the dentist who is treating you; most likely every two weeks or so. Some people will need to wear these hard biteguards for several months before the most significant results are obtained.

The same is true of the medication you are on. It helps relax your muscles, and also prevents you from grinding or clenching your teeth, which aggravates the TMJ problem. Usually heat applied to the outside of your face over your TMJ will also help relax the muscles.

You must remember that TMJ problems normally develop over a long period of time and resolving them also takes time, so you must be patient. If you are seeing some improvement in 5 weeks then I would take this as a positive sign and continue the regimen that has been recommended to you.

It sounds as though you should be glad it has been diagnosed and treatment is showing results.

Marie C. Schweinebraten, DMD
Atlanta Periodontist
2925 Premiere Parkway
Duluth, GA 30097
(770) 623-0930

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