Most people with TMD have relatively mild or periodic symptoms which may improve on their own within weeks or months with simple home therapy. Self-care practices, such as eating soft foods, applying ice or moist heat, and avoiding extreme jaw movements (such as wide yawning, loud singing, and gum chewing) are helpful in easing symptoms. According to the NIH, because more studies are needed on the safety and effectiveness of most treatments for jaw joint and muscle disorders, experts strongly recommend using the most conservative, reversible treatments possible. Conservative treatments do not invade the tissues of the face, jaw, or joint, or involve surgery. Reversible treatments do not cause permanent changes in the structure or position of the jaw or teeth. Even when TM disorders have become persistent, most patients still do not need aggressive types of treatment.
If your problems get worse with time, you should seek professional advice. However, first and foremost, educate yourself. Informed patients are better able to communicate with health care providers, ask questions, and make knowledgeable decisions.
The following are treaments often recommended to patients as well as helpful resources to provide guidance in making your health care decisions.