Instructions for Conservative Management of TMJ Disorders

Initial treatment of problems with the jaw joint and the surrounding muscles is outlined below:

1. Avoid Further Damage

  • Try and minimize emotional stress, which can make you clench your teeth during the day and grind your teeth at night.
  • Delay dental procedures that keep your mouth open for extended periods of time.

2. Jaw Rest

  • Eat soft food – no raw carrots, no nuts.
  • Chew evenly on both sides of your mouth.
  • Keep your teeth apart during the day (no clenching).
  • Try and minimize talking for extended periods of time.

3. Night Guard

  • Have your general dentist make you a custom night guard. This will prevent you from grinding your teeth at night.

4. Avoid Bad Habits

  • Do not bite your nails.
  • Do not chew gum.

5. Medications

  • Use regular/extra strength Advil/Ibuprofen (as per the instructions on the medication) for 1-2 weeks. Check with your physician to ensure that you are allowed to take this medication.

If you were prescribed a narcotic medication, please remember they are to be used for break-through pain only and pain uncontrolled by over-the-counter medications. Return all unused medication to your pharmacy after 10 days.

It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office during office hours at 416.461.0424. If there is an after hours concern please do not hesitate to call Dr. Kaplan on his personal mobile at 647.539.6565.

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