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Understanding TMJ Disorders

Your temporomandibular joints are the hinges that connect your jaw to your skull. These joints allow you to move your jaw up and down and side to side, so you can talk, chew, and yawn. If you have a problem with these joints, it’s called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). You may suffer from TMD for numerous reasons, such as grinding or clenching your teeth, arthritis, stress, dislocation or injury to the joint, and more.

A disorder of TMJ can cause pain in your jaw and face and make it hard to chew or open your mouth wide. You may hear a clicking or popping noise when you move your jaw. You may even have headaches. Depending on the severity and root cause of your TMJ disorder, the treatment may consist of self-care measurements, stress management, medications, non-surgical treatments, and, as a last resort, jaw surgery.

A woman sitting at a doctor's office, getting her jaw massaged by a doctor treating her for TMJ in Lone Tree, CO

Self-Care Measures

For starters, you can avoid activities that stress your jaw, such as chewing gum or eating hard candy. If you must chew, do it on the side of your mouth that is not hurting. You should also avoid clenching or grinding your teeth. You should also place a warm, wet towel on the side of the face for five to ten minutes at a time to relax the muscles and reduce pain. At Rocky Mountain Surgical Arts we will assess your condition and create a customized treatment plan with self-care tips tailored to your unique case of TMJ in Lone Tree.

Stress Management

When we’re stressed, our bodies tense up, and our muscles can become clenched, which can put a lot of pressure on the joints in our jaw. If you suffer from stress-induced teeth grinding, you can implement some lifestyle changes to alleviate stress. You can try yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises to alleviate stress. You can also identify and try to eliminate the source of stress in your life.


Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help manage mild pain and inflammation. If these don’t provide enough relief, your doctor may prescribe stronger pain medications or muscle relaxants to reduce inflammation and relax the muscles that control your jaw joints. Your doctor will understand your symptoms and the root cause of your TMJ disorder to recommend appropriate medications.

Physical Therapy

Several physical therapy options can alleviate the symptoms of TMJ in Lone Tree. Jaw exercises can stretch and strengthen the joint muscles, helping reduce pain and inflammation. Massage therapy can also relax the muscles and reduce tension. Ice can be applied to the jaw to reduce swelling and pain. If you’re suffering from TMJ pain, your doctor may recommend some jaw exercises and physical therapy.

A woman is smiling and touching her jawline after receiving treatment for TMJ in Lone Tree, CO

Trigger Point Injections

Trigger point injections can treat myofascial pain syndrome, a chronic pain condition that affects your body’s muscles and connective tissues. Trigger point injections are usually done with a local anesthetic, and the needles are inserted into the muscles responsible for TMJ pain, which significantly reduces inflammation and TMJ symptoms.

Botox Injections

Botox is an effective treatment for TMJ. Botox injections temporarily paralyze the muscles in the face responsible for clenching and grinding the teeth. This can provide significant relief from the pain and discomfort of TMJ and can help to prevent further damage to the teeth and jaw. The effects of Botox last for 3 to 4 months, following which you need additional treatments.

Schedule Your Consultation

Dr. Kayvan Fathimani is a triple-board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon dedicated to improving your TMJ symptoms using the least invasive techniques available. He always starts his treatments with non-invasive and non-surgical solutions and only recommends jaw surgery when all other solutions fail. Each treatment plan is personalized according to your unique needs. Please schedule a consultation to explore your non-surgical treatment options for TMJ in Lone Tree.

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