How often will I have to come?
A typical treatment plan for TMJ issues is 8-12 sessions on average. Initially, for most people it is recommended that the first four treatments are scheduled twice weekly. Then we move to once weekly. Having the treatments close together is essential since massage has a compounding effect, each treatment building on the previous. The goal is to get you at 80% symptom relief before spacing out treatments to a bi-weekly schedule.
Once we get you to 100% or as close as possible, we will determine whether a maintenance schedule or a treatment-as-needed approach would be best.
We recommend you schedule all your appointments in advance to ensure the ongoing benefits of the treatments. If the additional treatments are no longer needed, we can easily cancel future appointments.
What is the long-term outlook?
In most cases, when TMJD is muscular in origin, self-care and massage treatments will alleviate TMJ dysfunction symptoms successfully. Some will experience long periods with no symptoms, with only intermittent flare-ups from triggering events like increased stress, lengthy dental procedures, etc.
While individuals with longstanding issues (vehicle or sports injury) can frequently experience improved symptoms, although they are not fully resolved. In these cases, clients “graduate” after an initial series to monthly or seasonal visits to keep old patterns from recurring and feeling well for more extended periods.
What can I do to alleviate symptoms on my own until I can get a treatment?
- Avoid hard and crunchy foods and opt for softer foods that don’t require a lot of chewing
- Do not chew gum, bite nails, or rest your hand on your chin
- Avoid opening your mouth wider than one or two inches
- Chew with both sides of your mouth if possible
- If pain is acute, apply a cold compress up to four times a day for five to ten minutes
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist about anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing medication
Why are you referring me to a dentist or ear, nose & throat specialist before receiving treatment?
Many TMJ dysfunction symptoms mimic more serious conditions that need to be ruled out by a dentist or ENT. For example, TMJD can present with tooth pain, but so does an abscessed tooth, which needs to be ruled by a dentist. TMJD can also present with ear symptoms such as pain, ringing, and fullness. An ENT would be able to rule out infection, vertigo or other ear conditions.
Do I have to keep my mouth open for treatment?
I understand your fear since this is often a triggering event for a flare-up in TMJD symptoms. However, unlike some dental or medical procedures that require you to maintain an open mouth position, this is not the case with the intra-oral massage. You will need to initially open your mouth to allow access for me to treat you, but once I am inside, you can close your mouth and maintain a comfortable and relaxed position.