The condition is called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, but the pain and problems it brings can go beyond the specific joint it is named for.
Many TMJ patients can suffer from a wide range of symptoms including headaches, migraines, earaches and ringing in the ears. Others complain of feeling heavy pressure behind the eyes or their jaw clicking, feeling tender or suddenly getting “locked.” Some can feel pain brought about by ordinary movements such as chewing, opening their mouth or yawning. Many had to go through terrible pain in the head and neck, especially on the back and sides. The alignment of teeth can also feel different or uncomfortable.
Some home remedies can bring about TMJ pain relief:
- Eat only soft foods so as not to stretch your mouth or pressure your jaw too much.
- Be careful about how you move your mouth and jaws.
- Apply moist heat over the painful area. You may use a hot water bottle or heat pack wrapped in a moist towel to induce moist heat.
- An alternative is to apply an ice pack as a way to numb the pain and reduce the inflammation.
- Deep and slow breathing, meditation, yoga, massage and other ways to aid relaxation are also used as a technique to ease TMJ pain.
- Look for the right sleeping position that eases the pressure on your shoulders and neck, such as sleeping on your side and using supportive pillows.
The best way to address TMJ pain is to seek the help of a reputable dentist experienced in TMJ therapy. Some solutions may include the following:
- Take pain medications as instructed by your doctor. Some doctors may also prescribe more natural methods for severe pain such as trigger point acupuncture and marijuana (where legal).
- Look into therapeutic options advised by your dentist, such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), ultrasound therapy, trigger-point injections and radio wave therapy.
- Surgery may also be considered, provided that the risks and commitments that come with it are fully understood.
When seeking TMJ treatment, make sure to seek the help of a dentist with solid training, skills and qualifications in managing jaw pain. Many common types of dental treatment such as bridges and crowns can impact and may even trigger further jaw complications, so it’s likewise important to discuss your TMJ problems with your dentist before getting any work done. Talk only to a Burtonsville dentist to ensure the solutions implemented will be safe, effective and can finally free you from TMJ pain.