What Is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull, allowing you to move your jaw when you talk, chew, and yawn.
Is TMJ Pain a Serious Problem?
Yes, it can be a serious problem if left untreated for long. The developing pain can affect your ability to eat, speak, and even sleep. In some cases, it can lead to long-term damage to the jaw joint or surrounding tissues, causing chronic pain and mobility problems.
Some symptoms that should make you seek treatment for TMJ disorder are:
- Persistent pain
- Clicking or popping in the jaw
- Difficulty opening or closing the mouth
Causes of TMJ
TMJ Pain can occur due to numerous factors, including the following:
- Bruxism: It is excessive teeth grinding or clenching, usually at night when sleeping. It puts pressure on the temporomandibular joint, leading to pain and inflammation.
- Arthritis: A joint inflammation due to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can cause TMJ pain.
- Injury: A blow to the face or head can fracture or dislocate the joint, leading to severe pain.
- Misalignment: If your teeth and jaw don’t align properly, it can strain the TMJ, causing pain. Orthodontic misalignments like improper bite and overcrowding need quick treatment.
- Stress: Stressful and depressive episodes cause you to clench your jaw or grind your teeth, which can cause TMJ pain.
- Poor posture: Holding your head forward for extended periods can strain the temporomandibular joint. Besides, poor sleeping posture can also strain your jaw muscles.
How Can I Relieve From Pain?
The quickest relief from TMJ pain is through over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen. However, it is not a sustainable solution. Unless you have visited us at Meadows View Dental for TMJ treatment near you, suppressing pain for a few hours will not suffice.
What Can A Dentist Do For TMJ?
A dentist can offer several TMJ treatments near you, usually depending on the severity and underlying cause of the problem. Here are some of the common treatments for TMJ:
- Nightguard or splint: Your dentist may prescribe a custom-fitted nightguard or splint to protect your teeth and jaw joint from teeth grinding or clenching while you sleep.
- Bite adjustment: The way to overcome. E pain due to an uneven bite or misaligned teeth is through orthodontic treatment to realign your teeth and jaw.
- Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, are incredible for alleviating TMJ pain. In some cases, dentists will also prescribe muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory medications.
- Injections: Did you know that Botox injections can reduce inflammation and muscle tension in the jaw to treat TMJ?
- Surgery: In more advanced and complex cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace the jaw joint and surrounding tissues.
Your dentist may also recommend lifestyle changes, such as stress management techniques, avoiding hard or chewy foods, and jaw exercises that can alleviate TMJ pain and prevent future problems.
Can Jaw Exercises Fix TMJ?
Jaw exercises can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of TMJ disorder, not necessarily fix the underlying issue. Granted, dentists in SE Calgary recommend jaw exercises as part of the treatment plan. The exercises can improve your jaw’s range of motion and reduce muscle tension. It may alleviate your TMJ Pain, especially when the cause is due to muscle tension or spasm. Besides, jaw exercises can strengthen the muscles supporting the jaw to prevent future problems.
However, if your pain is due to structural problems, the exercises may not suffice as TMJ treatment in Calgary, AB. Instead, your dentist will determine more targeted treatments, such as dental adjustments, orthodontics, or surgery to correct the problem.
Common Exercises That Can Help Manage TMJ Pain
- Jaw-opening exercises: Slowly and gently open your mouth wide and hold the position for a few seconds, then slowly close your mouth.
- Resisted jaw-closing exercises: Place your thumb under your chin and gently push your chin upward as you try to close your mouth against the resistance.
- Side-to-side jaw movements: Move the jaw from side to side with your teeth together.
- Tongue-up exercises: Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, opening your mouth wide, and hold for a few seconds before closing your mouth slowly.
- Chin tucks: Tuck your chin toward your chest and hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat it several times.