Do you think about your temporomandibular joints a lot despite using them frequently? The temporomandibular joint connects your jawbone to your skull and springs into action every time you speak, chew, or swallow. When things are not right with your jaw joints and muscles, it causes TMJ disorders.
TMJ disorders can occur because of jaw injury, arthritis, or merely overusing the jaw joint. TMJ disorders cause mild or debilitating symptoms like:
TMJ disorders are not life-threatening but can leave you concerned with the discomfort making you seek TMJ treatment near you.
The temporomandibular joint is a combination of a hinge action that has sliding motions. The parts of the bones interacting in the joint are covered with cartilage and kept apart by a tiny shock-absorbing disk to keep the movement smooth. You begin experiencing TMJ disorders when the disk erodes out of its correct alignment, the cartilage of the joint suffers damages from arthritis, or an impact damages the joint. However, in many cases, the precise reasons for the cause of TMJ disorders aren’t clear.
Various factors increase the risks of developing TMJ disorders. They are different types of arthritis like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, jaw injuries, chronic grinding and clenching of the teeth, and some connective tissue conditions that cause problems affecting the temporomandibular joint.
TMJ disorders tend to disappear by themselves without treatment. However, if your symptoms persist, you must seek TMJ treatment in Redding, where the dentist recommends various treatment options combining more than one at the same time.
Besides recommending non-surgical remedies, TMJ treatment in Redding, CA, may prescribe medications to relieve the pain associated with TMJ disorders. They may advise over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories for relief from the discomfort. If required, the dentist prescribes more potent pain relievers for a limited period.
Tricyclic antidepressants generally used for depression are sometimes beneficial for TMJ pain relief, bruxism, and sleeplessness. Muscle relaxants are sometimes recommended for a few days to relieve the pain caused by TMJ disorders and created by muscle spasms.
Dentists also recommend non-drug therapies for TMJ disorders with occlusal appliances to help patients benefit from wearing a firm or soft device over their teeth. However, the reasons why these devices provide any benefits are not well understood. TMJ treatment in Redding also includes exercises to stretch and strengthen the jaw muscles, and the treatments may include ultrasound, moist heat, and ice.
Education and counseling are other methods adopted by dentists to help patients understand the factors and behaviors that aggravate TMJ pain and avoid them. Some examples include leaning on your chin, grinding and clenching your teeth, or biting fingernails.
Understanding tension-related habits like clenching your jaw, grinding your teeth, or chewing pencils helps reduce TMJ pain frequency. The tips mentioned below are helpful to reduce symptoms of TMJ disorders:
You must avoid overusing your jaw muscles by eating soft foods and cutting the food into small pieces. You must steer clear of chewy and sticky foods and avoid chewing gum as far as possible.
Your dentist may recommend how to exercise for stretching and strengthening your jaw muscles and massaging the muscles yourself.
Applying moist heat or ice to the sides of your face can help alleviate the pain.
Complementary and alternative techniques of medicine may help to manage the chronic pain often associated with TMJ disorders. In such cases, you are recommended relaxation techniques by consciously slowing down your breath and taking deep breaths to relax tense muscles resulting in pain relief. Electronic devices for monitoring the tightness of specific muscles help you to practice useful relaxation techniques.
Alternatively, a specialist trained in acupuncture treats chronic pain by inserting hair-thin needles in specific locations of your body to provide relief from TMJ disorders.
When all other methods do not succeed in providing relief from TMJ disorders, your dentist may suggest surgery as a method to alleviate the discomfort. If you are recommended surgery, ensure that you discuss the benefits and risks and inquire about your options before accepting the suggestion.