By Dr. Frederick Abeles

Published March 27, 2022

Home Blog What’s the Most Effective TMJ Treatment? 3 Critical Things to Consider…

The most effective TMJ treatment takes 3 things into consideration:

1. Is it treating the underlying cause of the TMJ problem or is it just treating symptoms?

2. Is it invasive? Does it involve the use of chemicals, drugs or surgery?

3. Is it sustainable? Will it last?


Have you lost time or money on failed TMJ treatment?

If your answer is yes… you’re not alone. Sadly, this is pretty much the norm.

Some people never identify the few key things that make all the difference in their treatment results.

And they not only wind up being frustrated… they also suffer increased TMJ damage.

Answer these three simple questions and you’ll be on your way to selecting the proper treatment and feeling better in no time.

1. Is it treating the underlying cause of the TMJ problem or is it just treating symptoms?

There are far more TMJ treatments focused on temporary relief of symptoms than on actually solving the true underlying TMJ problem. Why would that be? Wouldn’t everyone want to fix the problem permanently?

Unfortunately, no.

We live in a world where we’ve been trained to rely on insurance companies and their medical/dental plans. And they don’t place our best interests first. Our health and welfare are secondary to their profits.

The fact is, insurance and pharmaceutical companies focus their money and efforts on delivering quick-fix solutions to TMJ problems.


The reason is simple:

Close up of one hundred dollar bills

Insurance companies make far more money by limiting payments to less costly procedures – not what’s best. And drug companies make more money if people have to continue to use their drugs.

Most people know this. There’s been enough exposés on ‘60 Minutes’ about these shenanigans.

But people still fall prey because of the immense power of marketing and influence these corporations wield over the public – and the doctors they control.

Medical and dental care in the United States is almost entirely influenced by insurance coverage and Big Pharma. Sadly, that’s what consumers accept… someone else taking responsibility for their health and payment for care. Even if it’s to their detriment.

As the old saying goes, ”Be careful what you wish for.”

Now that we’ve got the primary reason out of the way… let’s get to the technical stuff.

Close up of skull image

The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the only joint in the human body that gets positioned by where teeth fit together… our ‘bite’.

If our bite is not positioning the ball in the socket of the TMJ correctly, we’ll have pain or mechanical problems in the joint such as: clicking, popping or locking of the joint. Or we may have headaches, earaches, neck pain or facial pain. Almost all TMJ pain and dysfunction stems from this fact.

So, understand if the treatment proposed doesn’t correct the mechanical malposition of the joint caused by our bite – then it will not cure the problem. Period.

Treatments such as a night guard or massage or chiropractic adjustments or Botox injections or jaw exercises or muscle relaxants or acupuncture or physical therapy or dry needling will never cure our TMJ problem.

None of these treatments correct the root cause of the TMJ pain and dysfunction – that the bite is incorrectly positioning the temporomandibular joints.

This is how vital identifying the bite misalignment is.

That leads us to one conclusion:

If you want to fix your TMJ problem… be certain the TMJ treatment is correcting the underlying cause of your TMJ problem – your bite.

Only accept TMJ treatment that clearly defines your problem and offers the proper solution. And be wary of anyone suggesting they grind your teeth down or move your teeth with braces to correct your bite at this point.

2. Is it invasive? Does it involve the use of chemicals, drugs or surgery?

Woman taking a pill

Now that you understand the underlying cause of TMJ problems… does it make any sense whatsoever to take a bunch of prescription drugs trying to solve the problem? The drugs won’t correct the underlying cause. They only temporarily mask the symptoms. And if you take enough pills, they can damage your kidneys, liver or intestines.

Pay attention to the drug commercials on TV when they gloss over the side-effects of their wonder-drug. Don’t fall prey to their ads.

Do you really want to put a bunch of chemicals in your body that don’t even correct the problem?

Then there’s TMJ surgery. The means of last resort. There are indications for surgery of the temporomandibular joints. But statistically they’re rare. It’s a one-way street once they’ve cut into your joints.

Be certain there are no other options first. Most times there are more conservative treatment options.

3. Is it sustainable? Will it last?

Most people only do what they’re told by their doctor or dentist. Many times, that’s doing only the minimum acceptable treatment covered by their insurance plan – symptomatic relief.

Just get this…

If it’s the wrong treatment – you won’t get better.

Those who successfully eliminated their TMJ problem selected the right TMJ treatment the first time. They didn’t settle for quick-fix, temporary relief.

Before you consent to any treatment offered – ask yourself this question. Will the results of this TMJ treatment last? Or does the treatment have to be repeated over and over again?

Use your common sense.

If you had pain in your knee, you’d see a knee specialist. If you had a problem with your heart, you’d see a heart specialist. You would want the expert who only treats that body part. Who’s performed their procedures successfully thousands of times on thousands of patients.

You’d want the best of care.

Your temporomandibular joints are used all day, every day. You use them to talk, to laugh, to eat, to sing and a million other ways to enjoy your life.

You don’t want failed treatment results.

Here’s how you solve that problem.

If you have TMJ pain… see a TMJ specialist.


“I once was lost but now I’m found. Was blind but now I see.” – AMAZING GRACE

Now you know what the root problem is. And the reason it’s been ignored. Now you understand why so many commonly used TMJ treatments fail.

The question remains. Are you going to select the best TMJ treatment? The one that treats the underlying cause of your problem?

You absolutely can.

One thing is for certain: Your treatment result depends upon you making the right decision.

Call to Action:

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