There are various types of treatment for a TMD like
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) – therapy uses low level electrical currents to provide pain relief by relaxing the jaw joint and facial muscles
- Ultrasound – deep heat is applied to the joint which can relieve soreness or improve mobility
- Trigger point injections – medication for pain and anesthesia is injected into the tender muscles called trigger points for relief
- Radio wave therapy – radio waves stimulate the joint which increase blood flow and ease pain
- Low level laser therapy – lowers pain and inflammation and helps the neck move freely and mouth open wider
If these treatments don’t provide help then there are 3 types of surgeries that are available as options
Arthrocentesis – used if there is no major history of TMJ, but the jaws are locked. Done with local anesthesia. Needles are inserted into the joint to dilute any inflammatory chemicals from the jaw. A special tool may be used to get rid of the damaged tissue or dislodge a disc stuck in the joint or to unstick the joint.
Arthroscopy – done with an arthroscope, which is a special tool with a lens and light on it. General anesthesia will be given and a small cut will be made in front of the ear and a tool will be inserted. It is hooked up on a video screen so the joint and area around it can be examined. The inflamed tissue may be removed or realign the disc or joint.
Open joint surgery – depending on the cause of TMD, arthroscopy may not be possible so this kind of surgery may be needed if
- Bony structures in the jaw joint are wearing
- Tumor is in or around the joint
- Joint is scarred
Surgery is done using general anesthesia and all of the area of the joint will be opened up.