How Can TMJ Pain be Managed at Home?
The entire body is made up of joints, both small and large, to aid in functional movement. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a tiny joint that allows the jaw to move up and down. If injured or stressed, the TMJ makes it extremely difficult and painful for someone to speak and eat. At Evolution Dentistry, Dr. Mohamad El-Kheir and Dr. Matthew Gemp work with patients throughout Houston, TX to improve their overall dental health, including the function and mobility of their jawbone. TMJ therapy can help reduce pain associated with TMJ disorder and improve a patient’s overall oral health.
What is TMJ disorder (TMD)?
TMD occurs when pain and discomfort are present at the temporomandibular joint or the surrounding muscle tissue, making it increasingly difficult to open or move the jaw for chewing, speaking, or yawning. Symptoms of TMD include:
Locking of the jaw
Limited range of the jaw
Clicking or crunching sounds with jaw movement
Pain and discomfort with jaw mobility
Ringing in the ears
Stuffy or congested feeling in the ears
What causes TMD?
No one knows the exact cause of TMD. However, some experts believe there’s a correlation with the following:
Persistent grinding of the teeth
Chronic stress on the TMJ
Trauma or injury to the TMJ
At Evolution Dentistry, Dr. Kheir or Dr. Gemp examines your personal and dental histories to ascertain potential causes for your TMJ pain to develop an accurate, customized treatment plan.
Can TMD symptoms go away on their own?
In cases where symptoms are minor, TMD pain can occasionally dissipate on its own without formal treatment. However, many symptoms tend to get progressively worse with time.
What is TMJ therapy?
TMJ therapy is a highly customized treatment approach used to treat symptoms of TMD and improve your overall oral health and jaw mobility. Once the issue has been evaluated and identified, we will recommend appropriate treatment plans, which could include:
Nighttime mouth guard
How TMJ therapy works
During the initial appointment, Dr. Kheir or Dr. Gemp will assess your mouth and jaw to ascertain the root cause of your pain. This will include assessing for signs of teeth-grinding, misalignment, clenching, muscle soreness, and inflammation. For some patients, we may conduct an x-ray or bite analysis to uncover hidden issues in the jaw. Once your assessment results have been reviewed with you, we will discuss available treatment options.
How to manage TMJ pain at home
To manage daily TMJ pain at home, consider utilizing the following tips:
Make conscientious efforts to relax your jaw
Avoid hard-to-chew foods
Reduce your stress levels
Get an adequate amount of sleep
Apply cold or hot compresses to the TMJ and surrounding muscles
Regularly exercise and move your jaw
Attend routine dental check-ups
Learn more about the benefits of TMJ therapy
If you are living with TMD and reside in or near Houston, TX, contact us at Evolution Dentistry to learn more about TMJ therapy. Dr. Mohamad El-Kheir or Dr. Matthew Gemp will develop a customized TMJ therapy plan based on your individual needs so you can get back to life with minimal pain.
Summary: Learn to manage your TMJ pain at home and regain mobility in your jaw with professional TMJ therapy.