I have been fortunate that almost all patients that have presented with TMD have been treated successfully with simple, non invasive therapies. Surgery has been very rare and is a last resort option. Talking with patients about what is happening in their lives, what habits they may have, type of diet, and other contributing ailments has proven very informative and helpful. When possible, we can work through physical therapy alternatives that the patient can perform at home and an awareness of a contributing habit. This can be accomplished many times without medications, or over the counter meds.
If the bite is a determining factor, a simple bite adjustment (equilibration) may be helpful. This is an irreversible process so we enter this with cautioin and a careful diagnostic evaluation. Tooth movement and tooth/bite reconstruction are options for patients with more complex bite problems. The most common therapy is use of a bite appliance. In the next Blog, we will talk about these appliance options.