Are you feeling a nagging pain in your jaw when you yawn, chew, or open your mouth? Do you hear it clicking, or feel it locking up too? Then you may have TMJ. Now, this is a pretty common term for anything affecting your temporomandibular joint… I’m sure you’ve heard “TMJ” before, but this issue is not as serious as it sounds and actually affects more than 10 million Americans!
You’re probably wondering how this happened… There are a number of factors involved with the causes of TMJ, but some of the main ones are: Clenching/grinding your teeth; arthritis or osteoporosis; and of course, any sort of blow to the jaw you may have taken. Some of these are easily remedied with simple behavioral changes, such as using a mouth guard, getting more calcium, and avoiding being hit in the face… obviously… However, before performing any sort of self diagnosis or treatment, you should visit your dentist or doctor to make sure it’s not part of a bigger problem. Common sense is key!
Below are some ways you can cut down on the pain, while you wait for that appointment.
3 Tips to Help with TMJ Symptoms
- Hot/cold compress over your jaw… This will help relax any tense muscles and numb the pain of TMJ.
- Focused relaxing… Take a biiig, deep breath in and slooowly let it out… Great job, just make sure you’re focusing on relaxing that jaw and not holding any sort of tension there.
- Anti inflammatory drugs. This option for relieving TMJ is, of course, to be done responsibly and should be a last resort.
While you’re at your dentist/doctor, ask about some guided stretches you can do at home to work out that soreness and keep your jaw nice and limber… Also, remember to absolutely stop any nail, cheek, etc. biting, since this will only aggravate the condition and put you in more pain. You can ask your doctor for tips on how to break these habits as well.
TMJ will usually go away in its own with minimal issues, but it’s always important to keep an eye on yourself and keep up with appointments! You never know what you could be missing by trying to just use the internet as your doctor. Call the office today, 866-604-3327, to schedule your appointment, and let Dr. Potts aid in your TMJ care. He has extensive training in the treatment of it. Remember, common sense is key and I hope this article helps you on your way through the pains of TMJ.