Do you find it difficult to open and close your jaw? Perhaps you experience pain or hear a clicking sound whenever you move it? If this sounds familiar, then you may very well have a temporomandibular joint dysfunction, sometimes known as a TMJ condition.
When the joint that connects the lower jaw to the base of the skull malfunctions, it can result in a variety of symptoms that can affect your quality of life. There are several things you may do at home to aid with the difficulties. If they aren’t working, you’ll need to see your dentist near you, who is an expert in TMJ therapy.
Is There a Chance You Have a TMJ Disorder?
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, TMJ dysfunction affects up to 12% of persons. The disorder might be a result of various factors, including a misaligned bite, previous joint injuries, or arthritis. Regardless of the source, facing any of these may lead to a wide array of symptoms.
The limitation of joint movement is one of the most common symptoms. It may even lock into an open or closed position in some situations. When you have recurrent headaches, it’s not uncommon to experience pain, swelling, or tenderness. Many people hear or feel a clicking, popping, or grating sensation when opening or closing the mouth.
Stress or strain on the joints, such as that caused by bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching), can aggravate the symptoms of the disorder. TMJ treatment near you frequently entails minimizing jaw tension while also aligning it appropriately.
Typically, your doctor will examine your jaw joints for sensitivity and pain. They’ll listen for a grating or clicking sound when you flex your jaw, as well as examine the mobility of your jaw and facial muscles. X-rays or other testing, such as a CAT scan or MRI, can also help your doctor eliminate other problems and get a complete view of what’s going on.
How Do You Treat TMJ?
There are all kinds of remedies you may want to implement to minimize any discomfort. If these cures do not work, you should contact your dentist for a different treatment option.
Below are some tips to help reduce any discomfort you may experience:
- To improve function and reduce pain, apply moist heat to the joint.
- To reduce swelling, apply ice packs for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
- To give your jaw a break, eat soft foods like yogurt and soups.
- Pain medications and anti-inflammatories are available over-the-counter.
- Exercise your jaw to help it move more freely.
- Relaxation exercises, such as yoga can help to reduce stress levels.
If home cures don’t provide adequate relief, your dentist in Okotoks can recommend a custom-fit oral appliance that works similarly to a mouthguard. It will realign the jaw into a more natural and comfortable position.
How to Stop Living with TMJ Pain?
TMJ dysfunction management techniques include, but are not limited to:
- Using a mouth guard to avoid teeth grinding during sleeping
- Muscle relaxants are used to relax the jaw muscles.
- Low-level laser treatment reduces inflammation.
By correctly controlling their TMJ symptoms, the majority of individuals can continue leading productive lives. However, if you have significant symptoms that are interfering with your quality of life, then you may need surgery.
In situations like these, you should speak with your primary care physician to see if surgery is the best alternative to TMJ treatment in Okotoks for your problems. After all other methods of pain control have failed, surgery is the last resort. Cornerstone Dental Wellness can help you choose a TMJ treatment plan that is right for you.