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Are there alternative treatments for temporomandibular disorder (TMD)?

TMD is not a diagnosis but a group of problems related to the jaw joint. Many times TMD is self-limiting and goes away on its own.

If it does persist, see a dentist who can diagnose what is wrong. Once a person has a diagnosis appropriate treatment can be discussed. Alternative treatment is available, but care that is known to help is where I would suggest a person start.

Rarely does treatment involve extensive dental care or surgery.
Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) can usually be treated with home care, including lifestyle changes. Treatments may include avoiding clenching your jaw during daytime hours, using ice packs or hot packs on the jaw for pain or stiffness, eating a soft diet to avoid further injury, and avoiding habits such as chewing gum. If these treatments don't work, your dentist can fit you with an appliance, usually a bite guard, that you can wear at night to stop you from clenching your jaw.

While the treatment options for TMD cannot be classified as alternative treatments, many depend on the person with TMD using methods that do not rely on a physician or medicine. Relaxation techniques, managing stress, modifying behavior (such as learning not to clench teeth), and improving posture all can be used to treat TMD. It also is recommended that a person with TMD eat softer foods, stop chewing gum, and be mindful to not open the mouth too widely. All of these actions work to relax the jaw and rest the strained muscles and joints.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.