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Five Things to Avoid Doing With TMJ Pain

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The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge mechanism that connects the jaw to the skull. In most instances, we are unaware of how often we use the TMJ in daily practice, especially during chewing and speaking. When TMJ pain occurs, this can dramatically limit jaw mobility and cause debilitating, lifelong symptoms. At Evolution Dentistry, Dr. Mohamad El-Kheir and Dr. Matthew Gemp work with men and women throughout Houston, TX, providing TMJ therapy to alleviate pain and help restore jaw movement for routine oral activities.

What is TMJ pain?

TMJ pain is any pain of the temporomandibular joint, or the hinge-and-slide joint that connects the jaw to the skull. Millions of adults in the U.S. live with TMJ pain, ranging from mild discomfort to chronic, debilitating symptoms. At Evolution Dentistry, Dr. Kheir and Dr. Gemp work with each patient to determine the root cause(s) of their TMJ pain and provide effective and relevant treatment options.

What causes TMJ pain?

TMJ pain occurs when the disk between the joint erodes or becomes misaligned. Pain can also occur when the cartilage tissue breaks down due to arthritis or when an individual sustains a physical blow to the jawbone. Other risk factors for TMJ pain include:

  • Genetics

  • Rheumatoid or osteoarthritis

  • Grinding or clenching the teeth

  • Specific connective tissue diseases

In many cases, the exact cause of TMJ pain may be unclear.

Common symptoms of TMJ disorder (TMD)

Men and women with TMJ pain as a result of TMD often experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Popping or clicking sounds or sensations of the jaw

  • Headaches

  • Limited mobility to move or open the jaw

  • Earaches without an ear infection

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

  • A stuffy or congested sensation in the ears

  • Jaw, teeth, head, neck, throat, or face pain

What is TMJ therapy?

TMJ therapy is a highly specialized treatment approach that aims to alleviate pain brought on by TMJ disorder and restore jaw function. Dr. Kheir and Dr. Gemp assess your TMJ pain; and analyze your teeth and other oral structures for grinding, clenching, or misalignments. Muscles of the face, neck, and jaw are evaluated for tension and inflammation. Based on the findings, we’ll create a customized therapeutic approach. Treatments may include splint therapy, nightguard wear schedules, and bite equilibration.

What can TMJ therapy do?

TMJ therapy may alleviate symptoms associated with TMJ pain by providing the following benefits:

  • Reducing pain in the head, jaw, neck, and throat

  • Minimizing TMJ clicking or popping sounds with movement

  • Decreasing your risk for tooth damage

  • Improving your sleep routine

  • Increasing jaw mobility

  • Decreasing headaches

Five things to avoid with TMJ pain

If you are experiencing TMJ pain, here are five things to avoid to help keep your symptoms at bay:

  1. Eating chewy, sticky, or crunchy foods

  2. Slouching or maintaining poor posture for long periods

  3. Resting on your chin

  4. Sleeping on your stomach

  5. Chewing gum

If you live with acute or chronic TMJ pain, give your mouth and jaw ample opportunity to rest during the day by avoiding nonfunctional jaw movement activities, so you can have the mobility to use your mouth for essential activities, including speaking and chewing.

Learn more about TMJ therapy in Houston, TX

If you reside in or near Houston, TX, are living with TMJ pain, and would like to learn more about what TMJ therapy has to offer, contact us at Evolution Dentistry and schedule an appointment today. Dr. Mohamad El-Kheir and Dr. Matthew Gemp will work with you to create a customized therapeutic plan to help alleviate your pain and restore your jaw function.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.