6 Simple Steps to Manage TMJ and TMD Disorders

6 Simple Steps to Manage TMJ and TMD Disorders

Dec 01, 2021

One man’s trash, they say, is another man’s treasure. Every day, the first thing that most people do when they wake up is to yawn. They get up from their beds and do everything from talking to eating to laughing and smiling. These actions require little or no effort for most people, but the case is quite different in people who have TMJ and TMD Disorder.

What is TMJ and TMD Disorder

The Temporomandibular Joint or the TMJ joints connect your jaw to your skull. These joints are responsible for the movement of the jaw, allowing it to move freely. When these joints develop problems (common in people between the ages of 20 and 40), they are called Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD).

People with TMD often experience severe pain and discomfort in their face, neck, and shoulders when they open their mouths to talk, eat, or yawn. Sometimes, their jaws get stuck in a particular position, and other times, the disorder causes their face to swell.

If you stay close to people with TMJ and TMD Disorder, you will hear sounds in their jaws when they open or close their mouths. Other symptoms include toothache, headache, tinnitus, and shoulder pain, amongst others.

Some of these symptoms are common with other medical conditions like gum disease, tooth decay, etc. So, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, visit a dentist near you to be correctly diagnosed.

The causes of TMD remain unknown; however, dentists believe that they might occur from problems with your jaw muscle or the TMJ.

How To Manage TMJ Disorder

If you visit a dentist near you, you will be thoroughly examined; tests and scans will be carried out to be sure that it is TMD. You might also be referred to a TMJ specialist in Berkeley for advanced tests like Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or a Computer Tomography (CT) scan. After this, you could still be referred to an oral surgeon or an orthodontist to confirm the TMD.

If it is indeed a TMD, your dentist will likely prescribe TMJ pain relief drugs for you to use. Ibruprofen and other NSAIDs can help to reduce the pain and to swell in the face. Other than these drugs, here are six ways to manage a TMJ Disorder without the need for a medical procedure.

  1. Good Posture: Temporomandibular Joint Disorder is a musculoskeletal problem. It is the second most common musculoskeletal problem after lower back pain. That means that your posture can cause TMD pains.
  2. To manage the pain, try as much as possible always to sit upright. When working, relaxing, or driving, you can keep a pillow behind you to support your back. Also, try to keep your jaw muscles relaxed by reducing the movements like talking, chewing, yawning, etc.
  3. Sleep: The advantages of proper night sleep cannot be overemphasized. Yes, it helps to manage TMD pains. Make sure you lie on your back and use a pillow to support your neck while sleeping. You can sleep on your side, too but do not rest your chin on your hand(s).
  4. Cold Compress: Using ice on the spot where you feel the pain for about 15 minutes can help to reduce the pain of TMD
  5. Reduced Stress: To relieve the pain in your jaw, you need to rid your body of stress. One way to do this is through mediation. You can try out yoga too, or gardening, anything that will make you relaxed. There are also jaw exercises that you can perform to relieve yourself of stress.
  6. Good Habits: There are several habits that you need to fling out the window if you want to manage your pain. Biting your nails, grinding or clenching your teeth, resting your chin on your hands, and so on. All these habits need to stop.
  7. Soft Foods: You should not put too much stress on your jaws. Mind the kind of food that you eat. Take soft meals like beans or yogurt and avoid the meals that will make you stress your jaws.

 Visit TMJ Specialist Near You

If you have used TMJ pain relief drugs and you have applied the techniques listed in this article, but you still feel acute pain in your TMJ joints, find a dentist near you or contact a TMJ specialist in Berkeley for further treatment.

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