TMJ disorder is a very painful condition. At first, you may not even realize that you have it, but may simply be frustrated by the fact that you feel intense pain and tightness in your jaw. You may even be wondering what you could have done to cause such symptoms. This happens because TMJ disorder is often caused by the grinding of your teeth at night, due to intense stress that you haven’t gotten rid of during the day, leading to your body taking it out in the grinding at night.
Beyond jaw soreness, there are other things that signal you have TMJ disorder. Some of these include numbness or tingling, toothache at the back of your mouth, tightness in your neck, constant headaches, your jaw popping when you open and close it, your teeth not lining up, or pain when chewing. When you suspect that you may have TMJ disorder, there are some steps you can do to remedy the problem, relieving the pain and hopefully getting rid of the problem altogether. Some of these include the following:
- Medication: To begin with, you can reduce the effects of TMJ disorder by starting with an anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. While it won’t take care of the entire problem, it is an excellent start and will remove some of the pain.
- Stretching: Doing simple, gentle stretches for your jaw and neck can help to restore your range of motion and reduce the discomfort that comes with TMJ disorder.
- Meditation and Stress Reduction: Since TMJ is often caused by stress, finding ways to help relieve stress, such as meditation, yoga, or other stress relieving exercises can help to reduce the amount of tooth grinding you do.
- Sleep Appliances: If you’ve tried the first three options with limited success, your next step is to come in and visit us. We can help you to reduce the effects of TMJ disorder by fitting your mouth with an appliance that you can wear at night, which will stop you from grinding your teeth, thus reducing the amount of wear and tear on your teeth.
- Surgery: This is the final option, one which is only offered as a last resort, when everything else has been insufficient.
When you are ready to relieve the pain of TMJ disorder, come in and see us at Northern Horizon Dental. We can help to accurately diagnose and treat your problems. Let us help you relieve your stress today!