To get the best results from TMJ treatment, it’s advised that you start with the most minimally invasive treatments before moving on to more invasive and irreversible treatments. So starting with home care is a good idea most of the time. But before you try a home care routine, it’s important to ask several questions to make sure you’ve got a TMJ treatment that is reasonable for you.
Is It Harmful?
Just because it’s home care doesn’t mean it’s necessarily safe. There are many home care treatments that can be harmful. Be cautious about natural supplements, which aren’t well monitored by the FDA or anyone else, and sometimes may contain dangerous ingredients.
Even relatively safe treatments, like your standard over-the-counter medications, can have dangerous side effects, especially if they’re not used properly.
Is It Effective?
Some home treatments just aren’t worth bothering with. Even if they aren’t harmful, they may not be helpful, which can make them a waste of time and money–and can prevent you from getting actually effective treatments.
Take some time and do research about TMJ treatments to determine whether they’re effective before trying them out.
Is It Expensive?
Why are there ineffective and even harmful TMJ treatments being marketed? It’s simple: money. Many people seek to profit off your suffering by marketing TMJ remedies that won’t help you. Avoid any TMJ treatment that is expensive and doesn’t have a good track record of safety and effectiveness.
Is It Complicated?
We noted above that safe TMJ treatments can become harmful if they’re not done properly. The more complicated a treatment is, the more likely you are to do it improperly, preventing you from feeling the benefit and potentially leading to harm.
Should I Be Getting Professional Help?
Home care is a reasonable place to start for TMJ treatment, but at a certain point you need to go to a doctor or dentist about your TMJ symptoms. How do you know when that is?
Severity: If your pain is so severe that you can’t sleep or perform normal daily activities (such as work, preparing food for yourself, or eating that food), then you need to see a doctor. If your pain isn’t impacted by over-the-counter medications, that’s another sign you need to see a doctor or dentist.
Worsening: You might have thought whatever home care you were trying was safe, but if your condition seems to be getting worse, it’s time to stop what you’re doing and get to your doctor or dentist.
Time: Minor pain will go away on its own in a relatively short period of time. If your pain persists for a week or more, it’s time to contact a doctor or dentist.
Recurrence: Another sign that your TMJ symptoms might be serious is when they seem to go away then come back. If your symptoms recur regularly, even for a short period of time, it’s important to get help.