Does TMJ Resolve Itself Without Treatment?

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Middle aged man holding his hand up to his TMJ joint and wincing in painWhile the mildest of jaw pain that occurs once in a blue moon may not be a cause for concern, most people suffering from TMJ disorders can benefit from treatment. The key is to find a dentist who treats the root cause of the disorder. At the practice of Dr. Paul Sussman and Dr. Meredith Pogal, we offer several ways to relieve TMJ symptoms. Our experienced dentists will find the right combination for you.

Getting Tailored Treatment for Your Symptoms

For the most part, no, TMJ symptoms will not go away on their own – not completely, anyway. It's normal for the symptoms to increase and decrease over time, going away for a while before returning. But most likely they will never go away for good without treatment. That's because TMJ disorders have certain causes. If the cause is unaddressed, it stands to reason that the symptoms will be unaddressed as well.

For teeth grinding while you sleep: A customized mouthguard relieves tension and pressure that may be causing your symptoms. Often worn while the person sleeps, the mouthguard prevents TMJ fatigue caused by teeth clenching and grinding.

For a misaligned lower jaw: A customized orthotic device looks like a mouthguard, but it's designed to move the lower jaw into an aligned position with the upper jaw. Sometimes it is bite misalignment that causes an unbalanced or damaging TMJ position.

For uneven, worn or misshapen teeth: Damaged, crooked or misshapen teeth may be causing bite misalignment. If that is the case, our dentists will utilize various dental restorations and treatments to create a balanced bite. Examples include fillings, crowns, orthodontics, dental implants and dentures.

For excessive muscular tension in the face: TENS therapy delivers a gentle electrical current through the skin, down to the tense muscles in your face. It is this muscular tension that may be causing your symptoms. TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and it's completely safe and painless. The electrical current stimulates the nerves and relaxes the muscles.

A group of people holding their hands up to their jaws because they have TMJ pain

Preventive Measures

Stress can aggravate TMJ symptoms. You may clench your jaw, grind your teeth or otherwise exert your facial muscles when you feel stressed. This can happen when you're stuck in traffic, trying to make a deadline at work, getting into an emotional argument or feeling stressed for some other reason.

When TMJ pain is caused by stress, you may be able to perform self-care that will temporarily relieve your symptoms:

  • Practice stress reduction
  • Exercise regularly, which will help with stress reduction
  • Use a cold compress when the jaw feels sore or pained
  • Stop using chewing gum if the chewing seems connected to TMJ pain

These things can temporarily relieve TMJ symptoms, to some degree. If the cause of the symptoms goes beyond stress alone, then you may need to talk to our dentists about one of our professional dental treatments.

Discover Your Treatment Options

To arrange a TMJ treatment consultation with our experienced dentists in Rochester, New York, please call the practice of Dr. Meredith Pogal and Dr. Paul Sussman at 585-227-4390. During a consultation and evaluation, they will determine your diagnosis and help you decide if one of these treatments is right for you.