At Pacific Heights Dental Studio, Dr. Vivian Cui offers multiple treatment options to improve the function and harmony of your jaw. Once a thorough evaluation confirms a TMD diagnosis, Dr. Cui will determine the most effective course of action. Your San Francisco dentist prefers the appropriate self-care combined with professional TMJ therapy.
The first mission to accomplish is to end muscle spasms and relieve joint pain. This is usually achieved with a muscle relaxant, pain reliever, or anti-inflammatory medication. Steroids injections into the jaw joint may reduce pain and reduce inflammation. Effective self-care at home may include:
Common TMJ therapy techniques include stress management through physical therapy or biofeedback. Also, wearing a plastic dental appliance might be helpful. A mouth guard or a splint that is custom-fitted over your upper or lower teeth will help prevent clenching or grinding. These types of devices allow the jaw muscles to relax and therefore, alleviate pain. A nightguard worn during sleep will reduce tension overnight and protect teeth, joints, and cartilage. An anterior positioning oral appliance will shift your jaw forward for proper repositioning and relieve pressure. An orthotic stabilization appliance can be worn around the clock or only overnight. Oral appliances protect teeth from excessive wear and help position the jaw.
If your TMJ disorder (TMD) is caused by an improper bite, TMJ therapy in San Francisco may not be the correct course of treatment. You may need bite adjustment with orthodontic care. This approach may or may not include restorative dental work or jaw reconstruction. For severe cases, TMJ surgery is sometimes needed to repair the condition.
Dr. Cui does not consider TMJ surgery in San Francisco unless the jaw fails to open, has severe degeneration, is dislocated and nonreducible, or if appliance treatment was unsuccessful. If you have questions or need more information, feel free to contact our office. Otherwise, you can book your appointment online today!