Finding Relief for TMD
The temporomandibular joint connects your jaw to the right and left sides of your skull. When patients are experiencing pain or dysfunction in this joint or in the surrounding muscles and bones, they are said to be suffering from a Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD. You may have heard it called by the name TMJ, after the joint itself, but TMD more accurately reflects how the issue being experienced does not necessarily have to be in the joint itself. There are a few different ways that you can find relief if you are suffering from TMD.
The current trend in TMD treatment is to take a conservative approach. Gently stretching your jaw or massaging the temporomandibular region of your face can increase circulation and provide some relief. Jaw exercise can also be helpful. Sticking to a diet of soft foods while you are experiencing painful symptoms of TMD is also recommended. The soreness in your muscles can also be relieved by using ice or hot packs.
If the pain continues or increases after trying the simple approaches outlined above, it is recommended that you see a TMJ dentist. They will be able to evaluate your bite and recommend other approaches you can take for effectively treating the pain. TMJ dentists are also able to design their patients a special mouth guard for wearing at night. Oral appliance therapy is particularly effective for TMD patients that are thought to have developed the disorder because of their clenching or grinding habits at night.
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