Treating temporomandibular disorders (TMD) can be very difficult and will require Dr. Chetan Parikh to utilize modern diagnostic techniques, consultation with other doctors, and his high level of skill and years of experience. There is currently no method for obtaining a completely accurate image of the TMJ, even with X-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs. Your road to healing may require several treatment types before reaching a definite solution.
As your talented dentist, Dr. Chetan Parikh, and his team begin to treat your TMJ disorder, you can aid in the success of your treatment by following these guidelines:
- Sleep on your back or side, not your stomach
- Focus on keeping your teeth apart, especially during stressful times
- Avoid fats, sugars, and caffeine, as the chemicals and acids produced when digesting these products can aggravate your condition
- Let your mouth rest by not chewing gum, biting your lips or cheeks, clenching your teeth, or chewing peanuts, ice cubes, or any other item that is repeatedly milled between your back teeth
- Do not lift anything that weighs more than 10 lbs., and do not do any strenuous work –avoid heavy shoulders bags and briefcases as your neck and upper back can affect your jaw area
- Do not open your mouth wider than half an inch (approximately the thickness of your thumb) for a few weeks – cut your food into small pieces, and catch your jaw with your hand when you yawn
- Use heat for muscle problems and ice for joint problems for temporary pain relief – if the pain is directly in front of your ear, it is most likely a joint problem, whereas pain in the cheek area is probably muscular. Rotate with 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off of the heat or ice.
By following these simple guidelines, you can significantly decrease your pain and discomfort without drugs or appliances.
At Chetan Parikh, DMD, MDS, DABDSM, we offer oral appliances that can relieve TMD pain and correct the relationship between the cartilage disc and the jawbones. Our dentist may recommend the Gelb, a mandibular splint, to treat TMD. We may refer you to your physician to rule out any other physical problems. Drugs are not always used in TMD treatment; when drugs are used, it is generally for a short period of time. Dr. Chetan Parikh may recommend adjusting how you sleep, sit, or work to treat your TMJ disorder. Final treatment may be as simple as wearing your oral appliance at night and modifying your daily activities. In rare cases, braces, dental crowns, dental bridges, shaping of the teeth, and other permanent procedures may be needed. Your caring dentist, Dr. Chetan Parikh, will recommend surgery only as a last resort for treating your TMJ disorder.
Effective treatment of TMJ disorders in Rockville, Maryland, requires teamwork among your physician, your dentist, and you, the patient. We invite you to contact us at our dental office today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Chetan Parikh and to begin your treatment process. We are eager to improve your health!