The TMJ, or the temporomandibular joint, connects the skull and lower jaw and is located by the ear. The joint functions like a hinge, enabling the jaw's movement for opening, closing, smiling, eating, and other mouth activities. If the jaw joint feels painful and is unable to perform its function, the cause could be what…
How is TMJ Treated?
Looking into your TMJ treatment options? Choosing a TMJ specialist helps ensure those who are diagnosed with this jaw-related disorder received the right type of treatment. Ready to learn more?
Understanding what TMJ is, as well as how it is treated, is necessary for those who have been diagnosed with this disorder. TMJ is a condition that causes one's lower jaw joints to not work properly, which causes patients to experience certain jaw-related problems. These problems tend to get in the way of normal function, as the jaw joints allow one to properly chew, swallow, talk and yawn. Common symptoms of TMJ include facial pain, jaw stiffness, a clicking or popping sound and a shift in the alignment of the upper and lower teeth.
TMJ treatment options
According to Hopkins Medicine, a health care provider will determine the ideal treatment based on the patient's age, overall health, medical history, how well they handle specific medicines, procedures or therapies and how long the condition is expected to last.
Dental night guards
A dental night guard is one of the more popular treatment options for those diagnosed with this potentially painful jaw-related disorder. Many people who are diagnosed with TMJ will also grind their teeth, which can lead to additional problems. Night guards are worn while sleeping to prevent the wearer from grinding their teeth, as, at night, they have no control over their grinding action. Night guards also help keep the jaw in its ideal position by supporting a more natural bite position and retrain one's jaw muscles to work properly.
Learning some relaxation techniques is beneficial for those who believe they were diagnosed with TMJ because they experience a lot of stress during their everyday lives. Performing certain relaxation exercises helps to reduce one’s stress, which helps reduce any tension in the jaw muscles. It is necessary for those who perform TMJ relaxation techniques to start out slowly and build up to performing more exercises as they gradually begin to feel improvements in their jaw.
Hot and cold therapy
Hot and cold therapy techniques are a common treatment for those who are suffering from TMJ-related pain. Cold therapy helps to reduce any pain one experiences; it requires them to apply a cold pack on their painful area for about 10 minutes at a time. Applying a hot pack for 20 minutes at a time helps promote healing by increasing one's blood flow to the painful area. Even though this treatment option will help relieve one’s discomfort and pain, it is not considered a permanent treatment option for those diagnosed with TMJ.
When someone is diagnosed with TMJ, they can undergo treatment to lessen and even eliminate their symptoms. TMJ can really get in the way of one's ability to perform everyday actions, like eating and talking, which often makes treatment necessary. Since there are many different types of TMJ treatment options available, those diagnosed need to make a consultation appointment in order to learn which option is ideal for them.
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