Do you suffer from frequent jaw pain? Does your jaw click or feel stiff when in motion? Are migraines a regular part of your life?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you could be one of the ten million Americans suffering from TMJ disorders.
What is TMJ, how do you know if you have it, and what are the most effective jaw pain treatments? Read on to find out.
What Is the Temporomandibular Joint?
The temporomandibular joint connects the jawbone to the skull. It functions as a hinge, allowing you to speak, chew, and move. Every person has two temporomandibular joints, one on either side of the jaw.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders occur when the jaw joint is damaged or inflamed. This affects the jaw muscles and nerves surrounding the joint, leading to pain, restricted movement, and other symptoms. To learn more about TMJ disorders, this page can help.
Symptoms of TMJ Syndrome
Along with pain in the jaw joint, there are several indicators that you might be suffering from TMJ disorders. One of the most common symptoms is a clicking or popping sound when you move your jaw. You might also feel your joint sticking when you open wide, such as during a yawn.
Pain often spreads to other areas of the body. You might feel pain in your teeth, the back of your tongue, temples, neck, shoulders, ears, or cheeks. Those with severe symptoms experience muscle spasms, blurred vision, migraines, and even jaw dislocation.
Causes of TMJ Disorders
Doctors and researchers are still unable to identify the exact cause of TMJ. However, they have found several contributing factors that increase the chances of developing TMJ.
Those with chronic arthritis or a previous jaw injury are more prone to developing TMJ disorders. Other factors include:
- Braces (orthodontic)
- Poor posture
- Teeth grinding
- Gum chewing
Like with most medical disorders, having a family history of jaw issues also places you in a higher risk category.
TMJ Pain Relief
Sometimes TMJ disorders require the attention of a doctor. However, many symptoms show a positive response to at-home jaw pain treatments. Try these DIY jaw pain treatments for some relief:
- Cold compresses
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories
- Avoid chewing gum
- Consumption of soft foods
- Meditation and relaxation techniques
- Gentle massage with essential oils
Doctors and dentists provide more direct solutions to jaw pain. If your personal remedies are not doing the trick, it might be time to book an appointment with a professional.
Common intensive jaw pain treatments include splints, acupuncture, physical therapy, and prescription-strength medications. In very severe cases, oral surgery may be the best solution.
Jaw Pain Treatments
At-home jaw pain treatments are a great place to start if you have been experiencing TMJ disorder symptoms. These are quick and easy solutions that often provide relief from pain and discomfort. If your symptoms are severe and DIY jaw pain treatments are proving ineffective, you should consider seeing a medical professional.
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