Have you been experiencing regular headaches, jaw clicking, and teeth grinding? Wondering how to resolve these issues quickly and painlessly? These symptoms could indicate a TMJ disorder.
In this article, we’ll answer the following questions:
- What is TENS and when is it necessary?
- Can TENS reduce TMJ pain?
- What are the benefits of TENS in dental treatment?
TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is a treatment method that targets muscles and nerves. A specialized device delivers electrical impulses through electrodes placed in the jaw, neck, and shoulder area. The device helps alleviate pain and discomfort associated with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD).
During microcurrent therapy, low-frequency microcurrents impact the muscles and circulatory system. Venous blood is drained, followed by an influx of oxygenated blood, enhancing metabolism. Muscles relax, becoming more elastic, and spasms subside. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) takes the correct position, and the muscles do not return to their spasmodic state.
A therapy session typically lasts from 15 minutes to an hour and consists of several stages:
- The patient assumes a comfortable position.
- The doctor places electrodes on the lower jaw.
- The device is adjusted to the required power.
- Every 2-4 seconds, the patient experiences a mild tingling sensation.
Electrical nerve stimulation is a comprehensive procedure, and visible results typically require a minimum of 3-4 sessions. Pain and other symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction can begin to diminish after just a few sessions. However, a full course of therapy may require more procedures. The treatment plan and the number of visits are individually tailored by the doctor for each patient.
TENS therapy can alleviate symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction, including:
Pain when closing the jaw or chewing.
Increased tension in facial muscles, speech disturbances.
Nighttime teeth grinding (bruxism).
Posture problems while walking.
Limited jaw movement during chewing.
Rapid enamel wear.
Neck and shoulder pain.
TENS can reduce the need for pain relievers in cases of jaw pain.
The doctor customizes the device's power individually, and the patient feels nothing more than a slight tingling sensation.
Muscles return to their natural position, become more elastic, regain their normal length, and spasms, tension, and pain subside. It improves blood flow to the treated area, aiding in healing and reducing inflammation.
Quality prosthetics or orthodontic corrections cannot be achieved if the jaw is overloaded, and the joint is functioning improperly.
Simply put - No. Treatment with TENS cannot completely resolve TMJ/TMD issues. To treat TMJ, it is necessary to identify all the causes. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is a part of the treatment regimen.
Treatment with TENS alleviates symptoms until the underlying problem is resolved. It does not correct jaw structure abnormalities, an improper bite, or jaw joint disorders.
Treating TMJ disorders requires a comprehensive approach
My goal is to alleviate jaw pain symptoms, improve joint function, and correct the bite. To achieve this, we offer bite correction with Invisalign aligners in dental office. In some cases, medication or surgical intervention may be necessary. If you are experiencing initial symptoms of jaw pain, please consult a dentist without delay!
In the following instances, we do not recommend treatment using TENS:
The skin in the electrode application area is inflamed.
The patient has epilepsy.
There are psychiatric conditions.
Cardiovascular diseases are present.
The patient has a history of cancer.
To identify possible contraindications, the doctor conducts an interview. It's important for the patient to be honest and openly disclose all their medical conditions.
Yes, this therapy is entirely safe for treating jaw-related issues when following the doctor's recommendations and excluding contraindications.
If tooth pain is due to temporomandibular joint dysfunction, electrostimulation can help alleviate it. If the cause of tooth pain is different, the doctor can develop an individualized treatment plan after diagnosis.