TMJ and How to Deal with It
TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is one of the least known but considerably common disorders in American adults today. The disorder affects the jaw joint, causing inflammation and even, in some cases, displacement of the articular disk. Its effects and symptoms are numerous.
TMJ disorder is known to cause:
• Pain and/or discomfort in the jaw, head, face, neck, and shoulders
• Jaw lock
• Grinding or clicking in the affected jaw joint
• Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
• The feeling of a toothache
• Difficulty chewing
• Muscle spasms
• Bruxism, or clenching and grinding the teeth
• Tenderness in the side of the face
• And more
Fortunately, there are several TMJ treatments that have been proven to provide relief. The main cause of TMJ is stress, which causes tension in the jaw muscles. Stress reduction and relaxation techniques and therefore the first line of defense against the disorder and its symptoms.
Patients have also found a remedy in splints and mouth guards, which can hold the jaw in a certain position and prevent wearing of the teeth caused by bruxism. Physical therapy and acupuncture may also be helpful. Inflammation in the joint can be reduced with anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxants may also be helpful. Patients who suffer from TMJ can also benefit from having a warm compress around, which can be applied to the affected side of the face to reduce both pain and swelling.
If you recognize any of the symptoms above in your daily life, schedule a consultation appointment today.
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