TMJ is the abbreviation of the temporomandibular joint that serves as the hinge that connects the jaw to the skull. The same term is also used to call the disorder that causes pain to the joint and muscles that controls jaw movement. Most of the time, the condition only causes temporary discomfort and pain which can be managed by self-care techniques or nonsurgical methods. However, if the measures taken seem to have no effect, surgical treatments will be the last resort.
To help our patients at Selah Creek Dental determine if they have TMJ and for them to know the proper measures to take, here are pieces of information we would like to share.
Symptoms of TMJ
- Facial soreness
- Locking of the jaw
- Difficulty in opening or closing the jaw
- Pain in one or both the temporomandibular joints
- Jaw tenderness and pain
- Clicking sounds or grating sensations when performing activities that involve opening or closing the jaw
We highly recommend our patients to seek immediate attention if persistent pain or trouble in closing and opening the jaw occurs. It is necessary for the professionals to determine the problem and provide action accordingly.
Tips for Managing TMJ
- Exercise regularly. Not only does it have significant benefits for the body but it also reduces stress and releases endorphins. These are helpful in alleviating the pain and discomfort caused by TMJ.
- It is best to use a backpack than using bags that places weight on only one shoulder. A backpack evenly distributes the load to avoid putting unnecessary strains to the jaw and neck.
- Relieve jaw and face tension by massaging the muscles that control movements gently. It will also help if the muscles around the neck are rubbed to reduce stress.
- Let the jaw temporarily rest. In the meantime, eat only soft and blended foods.
- Use moist heat to reduce any pain and to improve the jaws function.
- An ice pack, on the other hand, is utilized to reduce inflammation, promote healing, and numb pain.
- Try back or side sleeping to ease the tension placed on the temporomandibular joints.
- Avoid using the teeth as tools when opening bottles or plastic packets.
- Do not bite on hard objects like pens or nails.
- Make sure to avoid slouching.
- Do not hold the phone by the neck.
- Chewing gum is a no-no.
Aside from taking note of these simple do’s and don’ts, we at Selah Creek Dental encourage our patients with TMJ to consider the laser treatment our practice offers. We give assurance that in as little as 15 minutes, relief is achieved.
Suffering from persistent jaw pain and discomfort? Contact us at Selah Creek Dental for your TMJ Therapy in Selah, WA! Our passionate team is always ready to serve you.