How Might a General Dentist Treat TMJ?

Tmj Dentist Chester, VA

The temporomandibular joint is also known as TMJ and it is a small hinge-like section of the head that connects the jaw to the skull. When this joint malfunctions, the result is a TMJ disorder, which can be painful and problematic. Oftentimes, the jaw and oral cavity experience soreness, as well as dysfunction when it comes to eating, speaking, and even smiling. Thankfully, general dentists work to manage and treat these disorders. 

Many are surprised to learn that a general dentist is the first point of contact for a TMJ disorder; however, this is indeed the case! Dentists are experts at addressing problems with the jaw and the oral cavity, which makes them the best resource to utilize when experiencing a TMJ disorder. Like most disorders, there is a process for finding the best treatment solution. However, once diagnosed, treatment can begin. Keep reading to learn more about how a general dentist may address a TMJ disorder. 

TMJ treatment options from a general dentist

Outlined below are a few ways that general dentists may treat TMJ disorders. Review the following information when looking into ways to reduce symptoms and restore function.


The most common way that general dentists address a TMJ disorder is with a mouthguard. A mouthguard is one piece, made of rubber and plastic materials, covering the upper and lower arch of teeth. 

Mouthguards help to reduce symptoms of TMJ disorders, such as teeth grinding, jaw clenching, or any other stress on the oral cavity. They can be worn throughout the day, as well as at night, depending on the severity of the TMJ disorder. 

Dentists highly recommend custom-made mouthguards from an office; however, they are available at stores too. When custom-made by the dentist and their lab, there is a higher chance that the mouthguard will provide a secure fit. 


Splints for treating a TMJ disorder are similar to a mouthguard; however, the makeup and appearance may differ. Outlined below are three oral splints commonly used for the treatment of TMJ disorders. 

  • Occlusal splint
  • Stabilization splint
  • Bite splint

Just like with mouthguards, splints will also be custom-made to ensure a proper fit. 

Medications or injections

Some TMJ disorders respond well to medications or injections. Medications may include anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxers, both of which can be consumed on a regular basis when done safely and by dosage. They are known to significantly improve discomfort and inflammation around the temporomandibular joint. 

Injections are newer to dentistry; however, they are starting to show promising results. More and more general dentists are starting to offer injections to patients suffering from TMJ disorders, bruxism, and jaw clenching. 

Getting started with treatment

When suffering from a TMJ disorder, it is best to consult with a dentist. An evaluation can be done in order to determine the most appropriate treatment plan. Additionally, patients can ask questions or go over concerns they have. To find out more about TMJ disorders, reach out today. 

Request an appointment here: or call Chester Dental Care - Shwetha Rodrigues DDS at (804) 412-0875 for an appointment in our Chester office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: TMJ Dentist in Chester, VA.

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