How TMJ Treatment Can End Your Jaw Pain for Good
The temporomandibular joint where your lower jaw connects with the rest of your skull, is a complex structure. If it’s subjected to stress, you can develop a temporomandibular joint disorder, abbreviated as TMJ. It’s not an uncommon disorder, and for a lot of people, it just goes away by itself. But for some, TMJ can become a misery that affects their quality of life profoundly.
It’s not just the jaw pain, although a sore jaw or swollen face are common symptoms. Constricted nerves can cause the pain to spread to the neck or anywhere in the head or face, and it can even cause severe migraines.
Then, there are the problems associated with moving the jaw. Eating can become a painful ordeal, a simple yawn or a hearty laugh can cause strains and swelling, and you might even start hearing the sound of your own pulse booming in your ears.
TMJ Can Heal on its Own, But It’s Harder if You Let it Become Chronic
If you have TMJ, you might think you can just wait it out – but if you do, and the reason why your jaw is stressed isn’t addressed, it can become so bad that you need surgery to correct it. The trick is to start working on it as early as possible.
That’s particularly true if you have TMJ from the commonest reason of all: night time tooth grinding or jaw clenching. Without intervention, you’ll just keep on wearing out your jaw (and teeth) at night.
TMJ treatments are, indeed, varied, but they usually begin with a visit to your dentist. He or she will usually have a special splint custom-made to fit your mouth. You wear it at night to prevent involuntary jaw clenching and grinding while you are asleep.
Doctors and dentists will also prescribe anti-inflammatory pain killers to give you some relief and to reduce inflammation in the temporomandibular joint. Other treatments include heat therapy, craniofacial massage, and physiotherapy.
But TMJ is nearly as complex as the joint that causes it. Sometimes, it’s far worse than just strains, pain, and inflammation. If the cartilage in the joint has worn out, you may need injected lubricants that ease the movement of the jaw, or surgery to replace missing cartilage with a synthetic material.
Relax! Most People don’t Need Surgery for TMJ
Not only do most TMJ sufferers not need surgery, a great many of them respond well to non-surgical treatment. A study of TMJ patients found that 37.8 percent were completely cured after non-surgical treatments while a further 46.4 percent felt that there had been a significant improvement. Thus, in more than 80 percent of TMJ cases, proper treatment will bring about either a complete cure or noticeable relief from TMJ symptoms.
If you’re suffering from the symptoms of TMJ including painful jaw, radiating pain in head and neck, clicking sounds when you move your jaw, or are wondering if your migraines could be caused by TMJ, visit us for an examination. Relieving your TMJ could be a fairly simple process.