Many people suffering from TMJ have had a hard time getting their condition treated or in finding a TMJ treatment that works. This makes a situation that’s ripe for people who want to sell treatment gimmicks, cheap devices that promise results but have little or no positive effect on your condition. In some cases, they may even cause harm. If you purchase one of these gimmicks, you may make your TMJ worse, and you can definitely postpone your search for an effective treatment.
So here are some tips to avoid ineffective treatment gimmicks for TMJ.
Has It Been Recommended to You Personally, by a User?
One of the reasons why these treatment gimmicks can flourish is that people looking for treatment often don’t know one another. The devices are sold on TV or the Internet, reaching far-flung people who often have to trust online reviews of the product, which may be fraudulently placed by the manufacturer.
One way to avoid the fraudulent reviews is to talk to people in person that have used the device. If you get a personal recommendation from someone you know, that’s a reasonable device to try. Otherwise, treat the device with suspicion.
Does It Have a Scientific Basis?
There are many gimmicks that are designed to look like a treatment but have no real basis for providing relief. This is common among devices that claim to support your jaw, or herbal remedies that claim special ingredients.
Check the scientific basis underlying the device or formula you’re considering. A good place to go is PubMed, which consolidates nearly all medical research from major journals. Search the active ingredients or claimed mechanism. If there’s no research, or if the research doesn’t seem relevant to TMJ, then it’s probably a gimmick.
Read Reviews on Independent Sites
Every TMJ con artist worth his salt will pepper their website with convincing-seeming testimonials. Supposedly, these devices all work great.
Don’t believe it! Instead, go to websites like Amazon where you can find independent customer reviews. Look for the verified purchaser label to be sure.
Beware of reviews in blogs. Often gimmick makers will pay bloggers to give their product a positive review. Or, if they aren’t directly paying for the review, they may sponsor the site and ask for a review.
Don’t Be Fooled by “Money-Back” Guarantees
The money-back guarantee is supposed to be a mark of trust in quality, but for these kinds of treatment gimmicks, it’s just another part of the scam.
You may be promised a money-back guarantee, but make sure you understand the terms. You may not be able to get your shipping & “handling” fee back. You may even have to pay shipping again to send back the returned product. Often these devices are so cheaply made that just the shipping and handling charge is enough to make a profit.
You may also get pushback on the return–they say you can return it for any reason, but make the actual return process restrictive. Or they may promise you a refund that you just never see.
Talk to a TMJ Dentist
It’s also not a bad idea to talk to an expert before you order any device of this type. A simple consultation should be enough to learn which, if any, of these devices may work in your situation.
A TMJ dentist can also tell you if you need professional help or if routine home care might be sufficient.