Three Ways to Get Rid of TMJ Pain

Three Ways to Get Rid of TMJ Pain

Aug 01, 2021

Whenever you have pain in your jaw, it could be a sign of infection. However, more often than not, it is an indication of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. This is a collection of disorders that affect the TMJ.

The Temporomandibular Joint connects the jaw to the skull and we have one on each side of the jaw. The joint enables us to chew, talk, yawn, and sing, and any injury or bruising on the joint can affect these functions, and you may need to see a dentist in Greenway for treatment.

What is the Cause of TMJ?

It is hard to pinpoint the specific cause of TMJ disorder. However, it is believed that factors like arthritis, bruxism, wearing out of the joint, and injury to the joint increase the risk of TMD. The TMJ disorders cause pain on the face, stiffness on the joint, locking of the joint, limited movement and function of the joint, clicking or popping sound. These symptoms may affect one or both sides of the face.

How Can You Relieve the Pain?

Mild Temporomandibular Joint Disorder can clear without treatment. However, in severe cases, you may need to get TMJ treatment near you. The dentist can use one or a combination of these treatments.

1. Medication

Apart from lifestyle changes, the dentist may opt for nonsteroidal medications that can help ease inflammation and pain. Muscle relaxants have also been used to reduce the tension in the jaw. Stress is a common risk factor for TMJ and therefore stress relaxing techniques and antidepressants may help reduce the pain.

2. Nondrug therapies

Nondrug therapies can be used in moderate TMJ pain. Some of the therapies include:

  • Oral splints or mouth guards are soft devices that are inserted over the teeth. Oral splints hold the jaw and improve alignment. They also work similarly to the mouthguards by protecting the teeth from clenching and grinding the teeth.
  • Physical therapies like massage, exercise, and stretching can help ease the pain. The exercises can also strengthen the jaw muscles.
  • Acupuncture involves the use of hair-thin needles on the affected area to ease the pain.
  • Biofeedback uses electronic devices to monitor tight muscles.
  • Heat and ice therapies. Heat increases the blood flow and helps to relax the muscles. Ice, on the other hand, reduces swelling and pain. Use an ice pack for ten minutes and then follow it up with heat therapy on the side of the face for five minutes.
  • Eat soft foods to give the jaw a rest for a couple of days. Add mashed potatoes, fish, yogurt, scrambled eggs, and other foods that require less chewing.
  • Avoid extreme movements that force you to open the jaw wide like yawning and singing.
  • Do not rest your chin on the hand and avoid holding the phone between the shoulder and ear.

3. Surgical procedures

When these treatments do not work, the dentist may suggest surgical procedures like:

  • Injections such as corticosteroid may relieve pain in some people
  • Arthrocentesis helps in reducing the fluid and debris in the joint that causes inflammation
  • Open-joint surgery is done if the TMJ is caused by structural problems. The procedure repairs or replaces the joint, but it may have a few risks compared to the rest of the treatments.

Is TMJ Preventable?

TMJ may not be preventable, but you can reduce the symptoms. Wearing a mouthguard can help reduce the pain as it holds the teeth in position. Bruxism is a common cause of TMJ and also wearing down of the teeth. Reducing stress can reduce the stress that causes muscle tension.

Bad posture and teeth misalignment may also contribute to TMJ. It is therefore important to practice proper sitting posture to relieve tension. Also, getting treatment for teeth and jaw alignment can help.

Final Thoughts

TMJ symptoms often improve with lifestyle changes and home remedies. However, if you have chronic TMJ pain, working with a dentist may be helpful.

Visit Greenway Dental Center for Esthetic and Implant Dentistry for more information on TMJ and the suitable treatments.