TMJ Pain Relief: Best Practices to Manage Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

TMJ Pain Relief: Best Practices to Manage Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Jan 01, 2022

While you have studied up various dental issues affecting your teeth and gums, have you ever thought about what happens when your jawbone is dysfunctional? At Greenway Dental Center for Esthetic and Implant Dentistry, we encounter many patients who are oblivious about how jawbone health can affect their dental and general body health. It is why oral problems like TMJ disorders have become among our forte for promoting excellent dental health for our patients.

What Is TMD?

It is an acronym for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, a condition that affects the functionality of the jawbone. While the health of your jawbone may be intact, TMJ treatment in Houston, TX, addresses the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. When the joint is dysfunctional, your jawbone will not function optimally. Besides, you may start experiencing other health issues that are not directly affecting your oral cavity, hence destabilizing your entire body’s health.

What Does It Mean to Have TMD?

Although it is not a new dental issue in dentistry, many patients are oblivious of their need to visit a dentist near them for TMJ health. The main problem with this kind of disorder is the connective joints between your jaw bone and skull. Some patients may have problems on both sides of their jaws, while others only have issues with one side.

When you have TMD, it means that either the joint is displaced, inflamed, or sore. Some of the ways that you can have TMD include:

  • Dental injury or accident – external dental trauma can place unnecessary pressure on your jaw bone, impacting the joint that connects it to the skull. Many of the patients who suffer from TMD are often involved in dental injuries.
  • Excessive teeth grinding – is a condition called bruxism. When you clench your teeth too hard and grind your upper and lower teeth against each other, it places unnecessary pressure on your facial muscles and jawbone, which may impact the health of your TMJ.

How To Know You Have TMD

TMD is one of those dental issues that you cannot diagnose without the intervention of a dentist. Sometimes, you may think you are suffering from one dental issue, then later find out that the underlying problem is TMD. Therefore, whether you visit a cosmetic dentist in 77027 for aesthetic modifications to your smile or an oral surgeon for a totally different procedure, undergo a dental exam to find out whether or not you have TMD. Still, you can consider the following signs as indicators of a potentially problematic jaw bone:

  1. Tingling feeling in your ears – particularly on the side of your jawbone that is problematic.
  2. Pain in your jaw bone – especially when you chew or bite into hard foods.
  3. Migraine headaches
  4. Difficulty opening your mouth wide – either when laughing or yawning.
  5. Swelling on one side of your cheek
  6. Uncontrolled random muscle spasms
  7. Jaw locking – a state where your jawbone is stuck in the open-mouth position.

Managing TMD

If you suspect that you have TMD, the best way to go about it is to seek medical attention from a dental expert near you. At this, you can be assured that you are receiving the necessary medication to treat your TMD. While medicine is often sufficient for treating TMD, some patients may require surgery, or need to use customized oral applications to ease the movements of they are Jaws. Aside from treatment, here are some practices you can incorporate into your daily routine to manage TMD:

  1. Exercise your jaw – a dental professional can help you come up with some jaw exercises that will help relax your jaw muscles and promote functionality.
  2. Correct your sleeping posture – how you sleep at night can put pressure on parts of your body, including your jaw region.
  3. Concentrate on relaxation – to improve your mood and overcome stress and anxiety. Relaxing will reduce face clenching, which is typical when people are under a lot of stress.
  4. Curb bad oral habits – your teeth should be for eating, talking, or smiling. Bad dental habits like biting fingernails, opening bottle tops, among others, can not only damage your teeth structures but also cause unnecessary pressure on your jawbone, resulting in TMD complications.
  5. Wear protective gear – it is particularly needful if you are regularly involved in high-contact sporting activities like boxing and football. Mouthguards can help manage the impact of dental trauma and avoid TMJ-related problems.