What is TMJ?
TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, pertains to issues with the joints connecting your jaw to your skull. TMJ symptoms can manifest as jaw pain, limited mouth opening, and associated discomfort.
Self-Care: Commence with self-care techniques to alleviate TMJ symptoms. Applying ice packs to the affected area for 15-minute intervals throughout the day can help reduce inflammation. Gentle massages of the jaw joint and surrounding muscles can relieve tension.
Dietary Adjustments: Modify your diet by choosing softer foods and avoiding hard or chewy items. Smaller, bite-sized pieces can reduce stress on your jaw.
Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs can be instrumental in reducing pain and inflammation associated with TMJ.
Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can be effective in reducing TMJ pain by providing exercises and stretches to strengthen the jaw muscles and improve jaw movement.
Stress Management: Stress is a common trigger for TMJ pain. Techniques such as relaxation exercises, meditation, and yoga can help manage stress and, in turn, alleviate TMJ symptoms.
Avoiding Trigger Foods: Certain foods, like hard candies and nuts, can worsen TMJ pain. Identifying and avoiding trigger foods can minimize discomfort.
Dental Work: In some cases, dental work may be necessary to correct dental misalignments or other issues contributing to TMJ.
Orthodontic Treatments: Orthodontic devices, such as mouthguards or splints, can be prescribed to prevent teeth grinding or clenching, which often exacerbates TMJ pain. These devices are custom-fitted to your mouth and work by repositioning the jaw to reduce strain on the TMJ. Braces can also help correct misalignments of the teeth, which may contribute to TMJ symptoms.
Injections: In severe cases, injections of Botox may be used to relax the jaw muscles and reduce TMJ pain. If you’ve tried other ways to eliminate pain from TMJ this can be a great fit. Injections are easy, fast, and almost pain-free. Most orthodontists can perform this procedure.
Consult a Healthcare Professional:
If your TMJ symptoms persist or worsen despite trying these relief strategies, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional. A dentist or oral and maxillofacial specialist can provide a thorough evaluation and recommend additional treatments, such as prescription medications or more advanced therapies.
TMJ pain can be both uncomfortable and disruptive to your daily life. Luckily, there are strategies to improve your quality of life, including self-care solutions or visiting your Orthodontist in Kirkland. Whichever you choose, it’s important to get started quickly to eliminate the pain.