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Treating TMJ Disorder: Know Your Options

Treating TMJ Disorder: Know Your Options

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder affects millions of Americans, causing jaw pain, stiffness, headaches, and other uncomfortable symptoms. If you’re one of those millions, you’re undoubtedly looking for relief, and our team can help.

TMJ issues don't just cause discomfort. Without prompt treatment, they can lead to permanent jaw joint damage. Making an appointment at Constant and Contro Orthodontics in Cupertino, California, is an important first step for finding relief and preventing complications.

Quick facts about TMJs

More often referred to as jaw joints, your temporomandibular joints are located on either side of your mouth, supporting the hinge-like opening and closing necessary for eating, speaking, and other functions. 

Each joint contains a tiny disc that cushions your joint and prevents irritation and friction. TMJ problems happen when that cushion is damaged or your joint structure is inflamed or irritated.

Lots of issues can cause or contribute to TMJ disorders, including:

Sometimes, the underlying cause can’t be identified, although we can still relieve your symptoms and protect your joints.

TMJ disorder symptoms

Not surprisingly, inflammation or damage involving your jaw joints causes considerable pain, along with clicking noises or grinding sensations. Your jaw may feel stiff or it might be hard to open your mouth all the way.

What people often don’t know is that TMJ disorders can also cause chronic facial pain or earaches. Many folks report chronic headaches as a result of joint dysfunction in the jaws. If you grind your teeth while you sleep, you might even wake up with a headache.

Treating TMJ disorders

The good news is, many patients respond well to at-home treatments for TMJ troubles. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can help relieve inflammation that underlies TMJ pain. You can also give your jaw joints time to heal by focusing on a soft diet and avoiding any foods that are hard or chewy.

Using an ice pack alternating with moist heat helps relieve swelling and irritation, along with stiffness and pain. Gently stretching your jaw joints improves circulation to speed healing in sore joints. We also offer cortisone injections for fast, long-lasting relief of inflammation.

When TMJ problems are associated with a grinding habit or bite alignment problems, you’ll need other options. For grinding (bruxism), we can create a custom night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep, relieving strain and pressure on your jaw joints (and preventing excessive tooth wear).


When your bite is out of alignment, orthodontic treatment plays a key role in aligning your teeth and normalizing your bite pattern. Over time, treatment relieves stress on your jaws and eases the painful symptoms. In very rare instances of severe jaw alignment problems, we may recommend surgery to correct your alignment.

Early treatment is critical

Home remedies can provide a lot of relief for mild TMJ disorder symptoms, but without prompt medical treatment, you can wind up with permanent jaw damage and dysfunction. 

To learn how we can help relieve your painful TMJ disorder symptoms and protect your jaw joints, request an appointment online or over the phone with our team at Constant and Contro Orthodontics today.

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