Man suffering from TMJ holding his jaw to help with the pain

The temporomandibular joint is a joint that connects your jaw to the bones in your skull and functions as a sliding hinge. This joint allows you to eat, drink, and speak, but these everyday activities can cause jaw pain, headaches, and even ringing in the ears when you have TMJ. The symptoms can often be debilitating. Understandably, people who suffer from TMJ want relief immediately. The good news is there is a solution for this pain, and the sooner you begin dental treatment for your temporomandibular joint disorder, the quicker you’ll start to feel better. 

At Kanehl Dental, we understand patients who seek TMJ treatment are eager to rid themselves of symptoms, which is why we do everything we can to help them get relief as quickly as possible. With treatment, many patients notice a reduction in most symptoms almost immediately; however other symptoms may take time to dissipate as your jaw adjusts to treatment. 

Let’s review the different TMJ treatment types available and how long you should expect for them to provide relief.

How Long Does TMJ Last?

The duration of TMJ flare-ups varies from person to person; some suffer for a few hours, while for others, the pain and discomfort can last several days. With proper diagnosis and treatment, you can minimize how long a TMJ flare-up endures and reduce the suffering while it happens. Since TMJ can negatively affect your quality of life and make everyday tasks like eating, speaking, sleeping, and yawning more difficult, it’s essential to talk to your dentist about which treatment options are right for you. 

TMJ Treatment Types/Lengths

How long your TMJ treatment takes to alleviate your symptoms is mainly dictated by which treatment is chosen.

  • Orthodontics like braces may be needed to treat over and underbites as well as crooked or misaligned teeth. How long you need to wear orthodontics depends on the condition’s severity. For most adults, the treatment averages anywhere from 18 months to three years.
  • Therapies like massaging or stretching the jaw, stretching the neck, and stress reduction exercises can instantly provide some relief. Still, it may take anywhere from weeks to months to see the full benefits.
  • Dental work, including having teeth removed, can help to take the strain off of your TMJ. Recovery from this type of dental work usually lasts between 3 days and a week. In more severe cases, surgery to correct jaw abnormalities can be the best or only option. The recovery period in these cases can take several months after the surgery.
  • Mouth splints and mouth guards come in various styles and help relieve jaw pain caused by TMJ. Splints are typically worn for a few weeks to several months. Mouthguards are used to stop bruxism or teeth grinding from causing jaw pain. While the time it takes for this treatment to work varies from patient to patient, it can be highly effective. If teeth grinding is what’s causing your TMJ symptoms, you may need to wear a mouthguard on an ongoing basis, or at least until you can learn to stop grinding your teeth.

The vast majority of people who experience TMJ pain and seek treatment, say the difference in their condition before and after TMJ treatment is significant. The best way to achieve the quickest results is to speak with your dentist and get treatment as soon as you begin to experience discomfort or pain in your jaw.

Your dentist can help speed the recovery process by diagnosing the underlying cause of your TMJ and then recommending the appropriate treatment. At Kanehl Dental, we provide advanced therapies designed to relieve your TMJ pain. For more information on TMJ disorder, treatment timelines, and more, contact us today.