How To Deal With Temporomandibular Disorder

Dentist Blog

Are you dealing with temporomandibular disorder (TMJ)? If so, you definitely understand the pain and frustration it can cause. TMJ can keep you from doing some of the things that you normally do. So how do you deal with it? Many people have found some natural ways to ease the symptoms. This post will explain what TMJ is and give you some practical things you can do to lessen the effects of TMJ.

The Temporomandibular Joint

The temporomandibular joint connects the temporal bone to your mandible. The temporal bone is located in front of your ears. The mandible is your lower jaw.

These are the parts that enable your jaw to move from side to side and up and down. It's this joint that is in use when you eat or speak.

Symptoms Of TMJ

TMJ is a condition that is characterized by pain and discomfort in your jaw. It can also cause tenderness and pain in your face. In some cases, it can cause pain in your neck, shoulders, and around your ears. The pain is mostly felt when you open your mouth.  

Here are some other symptoms of TMJ.

  • Toothache
  • Headache
  • Popping or clicking sounds in your jaw
  • Swelling

Causes Of TMJ

The exact causes of TMJ have not yet been discovered, but it is clear that it is related to problems in your jaw muscles. Here are some potential causes:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Teeth grinding
  • Stress
  • Whiplash
  • Trauma to your jaw.

Natural Remedies

TMJ can be a very painful condition. Fortunately, there are natural ways to ease the pain.

These include:

  • Applying heat or ice pads to your jaw. It's a good idea to alternate between the two.
  • Relaxing. Stress is a major contributor to TMJ. Try finding ways to manage your stress.
  • Massaging the joints and jaw muscles. Relaxing these muscles can help get rid of the pain.
  • Over-the-counter pain medications.

Another way to ease the symptoms of TMJ is physical therapy. There are some simple exercises you can do on your own to strengthen your jaw muscles and combat the effects of TMJ. You may also consider seeing a physical therapist who can help you find ways to lessen the pain.

While TMJ can be a debilitating condition, there are ways to deal with it effectively. The tips in this article should help you reduce your pain. For more information, contact Chris T. Thomas, DDS or a similar dental professional.


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