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

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) 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 disorder. The symptoms can often be debilitating. Understandably, people who suffer from TMJ disorder 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.

Types of TMJ disorder treatments

How long your TMJ disorder 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

Dental work, including having teeth removed, can help to take the strain off your TMJ. Recovery from this type of dental work usually lasts between three 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 guards

Mouth splints and mouth guards come in various styles and help relieve jaw pain caused by TMJ disorder. 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 disorder symptoms, you may need to wear a mouthguard on an ongoing basis, or at least until you can learn to stop grinding your teeth.

Many people who experience TMJ pain and seek treatment, say the difference in their condition before and after TMJ disorder 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.

Are there at-home remedies for TMJ disorder?

The most common self-care treatments for relieving TMJ pain and symptoms include avoiding certain foods, such as hard candy and chewing gum; applying a cold compress to the affected area; gently massaging the jaw muscles; and doing exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles in the neck and jaws.

In addition, many people find relief with over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or aspirin. If these treatments do not provide adequate relief, you should consult with a doctor who may recommend other treatments like oral splints or night guards to help you reposition your jaw during sleep, orthodontic treatment to correct structural problems with your bite, medications such as muscle relaxants or antidepressants, and even surgery to correct structural problems or damage.

No matter what type of treatment you choose, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and work closely with them to ensure the best possible outcome. While TMJ disorder can be a difficult condition to manage, there are treatments available that can help relieve the pain.

How long is the recovery from TMJ disorder treatment?

The recovery period from TMJ disorder treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the type of treatment you choose. In most cases, relief from symptoms can start within a few weeks, but it may take several months for a full recovery. This is because the joint needs time to heal and adjust to new habits that cause less strain.

Some people may need to use physical therapy or other treatments during the recovery period to aid in healing and prevent any further damage.

Can TMJ disorder go away on its own?

In some cases, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder can go away on its own. This is often because the cause of the disorder may have been a one-time event, such as grinding teeth or trauma to the jaw.

Other factors, such as stress or physical tension in the jaw muscles, can also cause TMJ disorder. These causes, however, can be managed with lifestyle changes or physical therapy treatments. In more serious cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem. No matter what the treatment for TMJ disorder is, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.

Kanehl Dental can help diagnose the underlying cause of your TMJ disorder and then recommend the appropriate treatment. We provide advanced therapies designed to relieve your TMJ pain. For more information on TMJ disorder, treatment timelines, and more, contact us today.