TENS - The Simple, All-Natural TMJ Solution You Haven't Heard About

At Brightleaf Dental, a holistic dental practice in Santa Monica, California, founder Nazila Satvat, DDS, offers leading-edge

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge that connects your jaw to your skull, allowing you to open and shut your mouth, move your jaw from side to side, and chew. When you have a TMJ disorder (commonly called TMJ), your jaw hinge doesn’t open smoothly or easily. You may feel a grating sensation, hear pops or cracks, or have pain when you open your jaw.

Because your jaw is a joint with many types of structures — including bones, joint capsules, tendons, ligaments, and muscles — TMJ pain doesn’t have a single cause. Your TMJ may be caused by jaw tension, arthritis or another disorder, or trauma.

Treating TMJ pain

Depending on your type of TMJ, you may have decided to live with the annoying pops and clicks. However, if your TMJ hurts, you need a solution. At Brightleaf Dental, a holistic dental practice in Santa Monica, California, founder Nazila Satvat, DDS, recommends a number of treatments to ease the pain and dysfunction of TMJ, including:

She also offers a completely nonsurgical, non-pharmaceutical solution to TMJ pain and tension known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). She performs a TENS treatment in the comfort of Brightleaf Dental to give you immediate relief from TMJ. She also gives you a TENS device for at-home treatments.

How TENS works

The TENS device consists of adhesive electrode patches that Dr. Stavat attaches to your jaw at the hinge and to other areas where your TMJ pain may radiate, such as your neck. The electrodes deliver low-voltage electrical currents that block the nerves in your jaw from transmitting pain sensations to your brain.

Instead of pain, your brain feels the pleasant, tingling, massage-like sensations of the TENS current. Your nerve pathways can only transmit one type of sensation at a time, so the sensation of the TENS treatment overrides the sensation of pain. The TENS current also stimulates your body to produce endorphins, which dull pain and create a sense of wellbeing.

By overriding pain signals, the TENS treatment may also allow your jaw muscles to relax, instead of clenching against the pain. Relaxed jaw muscles, in turn, could lessen the degree of stress and tension in your jaw, and reduce your TMJ pain.

Use TENS at home

After Dr. Stavat shows you how to attach the TENS electrodes to relieve your TMJ pain, she also calibrates your device so that you can use it at home, whenever you need it. The TENS device is small, portable, and battery-powered.

Depending on the degree of relief you feel with TENS, you may not need any other pain-related treatments. Many patients cut back on or completely eliminate medications they were taking for TMJ before TENS. However, TENS doesn’t correct structural problems in your jaw, so you may still need to wear a splint or bite guard.

Now that you’ve heard about all-natural TENS for TMJ, contact us today about getting nonsurgical, non-pharmaceutical relief for your jaw pain. Call our team today, or use the online contact form.


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