What is TMJ?
TMJ, the common name for temporomandibular joint disorders, affects the temporomandibular joint that connects your jaw to your skull. You can feel this joint when you place your fingers in front of your ears and open and close your mouth. TMJ is most prevalent in women ages 20 to 40. No one has pinpointed one exact cause for the disorder, but there are several possibilities including teeth grinding, arthritis, and stress. If you suffer from TMJ, you can treat it with natural home treatments, medications, therapy, or in some cases, surgical procedures. For more information, watch this video about the basics of TMJ.
TMJ Symptoms Include:
- Limited jaw movement
- Pain in jaw, neck, or ears
- Difficulty opening and closing mouth
- Clicking sounds when chewing
What You Can Do to Ease the Pain:
- Avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods
- Eat soft foods such as yogurt, soup, rice, etc.
- Don’t chew gum
- Avoid opening your mouth too wide when talking, singing, or yawning
- Ice your jaw
- Apply moist heat
- Use pain relievers
tmj relief If At-Home Treatments Aren’t Enough
Should the pain continue or worsen, you can ask your dentist about relaxation exercises and jaw stretches. Additionally, your dentist may suggest using a temporary splint or oral guard that goes over the teeth, particularly if you grind your teeth. Certain guards are just for overnight use, while others can be worn during the day as well. Dentists can also prescribe stronger medication if over-the-counter products aren’t sufficient.There are also more intensive procedures and surgeries available should you need them.
Unfortunately, the dental field doesn’t understand everything about TMJ yet. But thankfully, there are ways to get relief from its pain or discomfort. If you have additional questions that this post did not address, we would love to answer them for you! Just ask us about our TMJ services.
Call us at (864) 256-0184 or request an appointment.