How Do You Treat TMJ?

You may have heard of TMJ, you may not know anything about it, you also may have been told it’s time to treat TMJ. What does this mean? how do you treat TMJ? In this article, we are going to go over exactly what TMJ is and the different ways to go about treating it. Depending on how severe yours is will depend on the next step taken. Keep reading to learn more. 
 
TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint. This is the hinge that connects your jawbone and the skull. You have two in total. Having a disorder can cause you to feel pain in your jaw and in the muscles that are controlling your jaw. It can be hard to diagnose TMJ as well as determine what the next step should be. This is because it can be combined with genetics as well as arthritis. Many people that have TMJ may have it simply from grinding their teeth, of course, it also can be from issues from severe. Many times if you notice it quickly and reach out, it can either go away on its own of you can self-manage it without having any treatment done. If yours is more severe and has been going on a while, it’s important to take a further step. 
 
There are many symptoms to determine if you have TMJ disorder. Some of these include pain in the jaw, temporomandibular joint or around your ears. You also may have pain when you are eating or making any movements with your jaw. 
 
If you believe you have TMJ disorder, there are a few things you can do. You will first want an examination. They will listen while you make movements to your jaw as well as watch it. If you have specific areas that are hurting you, they may also tough those parts. 
 
If the professional believes it is something to do with your teeth, they may recommend an X-ray or CT scan to provide more images which can show any problems that are going on. 
 
Although medication is not a long-term solution, medications can help with some of the TMJ disorders, especially until you determine the root of the issue. Taking an over-the-counter medication can assist with the pain associated with TMJ. Simple medication like Advil or ibuprofen may help tremendously. A muscle relaxer can also help with pain relief. You will, however, need a prescription for this. 
 
There are nondrug options that are also available. Some of these include wearing a mouth guard. This is primarily if it is believed your teeth are causing the pain. The next options if therapy. This involves stretching out the jaw as well as adding heat and cold to it. 
 
Depending on how bad your TMJ is affecting you, surgery may be the answer. There are many different surgical options for this.

Firstly, arthrocentesis is the easiest and least invasive. This involves small needles that are taking out debris and assisting with inflammation. Secondly, injections can assist with TMJ. They will help to relieve the pain in the jaw. Next, TMJ arthroscopy can be performed. There are very few complications that can occur during this survey however it is limiting for who can actually have the surgery. The next surgery option that can be performed is open-joint surgery. If you are experiencing extreme jaw pain, this may be the answer you need. It does have more risks involved so it is important to speak with an expert and look at all the risk factors before continuing with the open-joint surgery. 

 
There are a few different exercises that you can be doing to naturally assist your TMJ symptoms. The first exercise is simply to relax your entire jaw. You may not be doing this because of your pain, so you are going to focus on having your jaw and tongue completely relaxed. The next exercise is similar to the first, however, you will put your finger between your chin and your lower lip and gently bring your jaw down. Do the motion slowly and not more than 6 times per day. The next exercise will involve you simply bringing your chin inward towards your body slowly followed by bringing it back to the natural resting position. The next exercise is to open your money and gentle press against your mouth with your hand to create a resistance. The final exercise will involve you slightly opening your mouth and push your tongue to the roof of your mouth gentle followed up bringing it back down to the starting position. One of the reasons why exercises like this are recommended as a starting point is because there was a study in 2010 that said people that perform these Temporomandibular joint dysfunction will have a decreased pain when they have TMJ disc issues.
 
As you can see, there are many different treatments that are available. One of the things you need to ask yourself is how severe is your TMJ? Has it only got worse over time? Try some of these at-home remedies like exercises and see if they help. If the pain or discomfort continues, it’s important to seek advice from a professional. They will be able to perform tests and see exactly what is going on and let you know your options for overcoming this pain. 
 
If you are experiencing any symptoms of TMJ or know a loved one that may be, it’s important that you seek professional advice so that it does not get any worse. We understand that it may be affecting your everyday life, and that is why there is help out there so that you become pain-free. For more information on TMJ, contact us today.