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Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

There are a variety of treatments available for TMJ disorders, ranging from pain medications and relaxation techniques to splints and surgery. Depending on the severity and type of your problem, your doctor will select which treatment is most effective for you.

At UCSF, a physical therapist is also available on-site to provide physical therapy services designed for patients suffering from TMJ.

Splints — also called mouth guards — are used to treat teeth grinding, clenching and TMJ disorders. They are made of plastic and either fit over your upper or lower teeth. While splints are successful for some people, others may find that they increase pain or become ineffective after a period of time. If this is the case, you should stop wearing it.

In severe cases and if non-surgical therapies have not worked, surgery may be recommended. Surgery may involve repairing damaged tissue or joints, during a procedure known as arthroscopy.

Other treatments provided at UCSF include:

  • Pain management therapies
  • Acupuncture
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Biofeedback

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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