TMJ disorders are an orthopedic problem requiring long-term management. Our goal is to provide you the skills, the tools, and the support necessary for life-long success.
Why must TMJ disorders be managed?
It is important to remember that once your TMJ has had an injury or problem, you will always be more prone to future injury or discomfort than someone who has never had a TMJ issue. We do however, feel that you can be well prepared to maintain comfort for your jaw joint as a result of your treatment and training with us. With proper long-term management, more permanent improvements to your TMD symptoms typically occur with time.
Will I need to wear an appliance for the rest of my life?
It is typically recommended that you use an orthotic device during the treatment phase, and then continue to use this device for long-term protection during your sleeping hours. There may be times you will want to wear your appliance more during the day. We encourage you to do what feels right for you. It is a tool you can use to help yourself when you feel you might need the extra support
What can I do to limit TMJ flare-ups?
There will be times you will want to wear your appliance more during the day, even if you have weaned off of full-time wear. You will have fluctuations occur in your adaptive and restorative capacity as you move on with your life. Your general health, nutritional status, sleep quality, psychologic stress, injury, and grief may all cause your adaptive threshold to change. During times of increased stress, you will want to provide supportive care to your jaw muscles and joints to help prevent any discomfort. You have probably already begun to notice when your joints are about to flare up. Sometimes all it takes is a change in the weather. Increasing your supportive care will help during these times of increased stress or strain. Refer to your booklet or patient portal for reminders on how to experience continued success.
Do I need to have my appliance adjusted?
Management is most likely to succeed when based on the knowledge and skills you gained during your treatment phase. At times, home palliative care may not be enough to reduce a TMJ flare-up. Sometimes, the added support of an adjusted or realigned appliance will be necessary. We encourage you to schedule follow-up visits to allow evaluation and adjustment of your appliance at least annually, so we can check in on your appliance and your management quality of life. We will be happy to celebrate your success with you.