Tremors, such as essential tremor, are uncontrollable shaking, most often of the hands. Tremors are usually secondary to one of many conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease or Tourette’s syndrome. However, sometimes they have no direct connection to a known diagnosis. The most common treatments recommended for tremors are medication and, if medication fails, surgery, but for some people oral appliances can give nonsurgical relief of tremors.
We can evaluate your tremors to see whether this drug-free, nonsurgical treatment might be effective for you. Please call (303) 691-0267 or email the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado to schedule your evaluation.
Tremor Treatment Options
The beta blocker propranolol or the anti-seizure medication primidone are common front-line drug treatments for essential tremor. However, perhaps half of all patients don’t see benefits from either of these drugs. The next step typically moves to other blood pressure medications or anti-seizure medications. However, sometimes people may try the anti-anxiety agent alprazolam.It a tremor is secondary to other conditions, they are typically treated according to their cause. However, for essential tremor, which occurs when muscles are being used actively, there are a number of specific treatments indicated.
When medications aren’t working, there are a few surgical options available. The first is deep brain stimulation, in which an electrical stimulation device is implanted into the thalamus area of the brain. A second option is thalamotomy, in which the thalamus is selectively destroyed to reduce the severity of tremors.
When Oral Appliance Therapy Is Appropriate for Tremors
Not everyone with tremors will respond to oral appliance therapy, but it is something that every patient should consider. Many people should consider oral appliance therapy before taking medication. Medication can have serious side effects, and if tremor can be treated without resorting to medication, it can be healthier. Oral appliance therapy should always be considered as a possibility before surgery, which is irreversible and has serious risks.
Many tremors can result from irritation or inflammation of the trigeminal nerve, which can be caused by temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Tremors can also be worsened by weakness in certain muscles or muscles that cannot put their full energy into the task they are being asked to perform. Correcting the position of the jaw can reduce the irritation of the trigeminal nerve. It can also optimize the efficiency of muscles in the jaw and neck, freeing up your body’s resources to better control voluntary actions.
You should consider oral appliance therapy for tremors if:
- Tremors originated after head/neck trauma
- Tremors are accompanied by regular headaches or migraines
- You experience jaw pain, neck pain, or other TMJ symptoms
- Medication gives only partial control of tremors
- Tremor occurs in certain positions or postures
Evaluation is relatively simple, and we can tell you quickly whether you will benefit from oral appliance therapy.
If you would like to learn whether oral appliance therapy can help with your tremors, please contact the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado.