Do you notice a constant ache in your jaw? Jaw pain is a common symptom of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) which refers to inflammation of the jaw joint. This condition develops when excess pressure on the teeth spreads to create strain and tightness in the muscles around this joint.
TMJ will not go away on its own. Without treatment from your dentist, TMJ can lead to severe pain, a clicking sound in the jaw, and stiffness in this joint that can make it harder to complete oral functions.
Therapy to eradicate TMJ will vary depending on the cause of the strain and symptoms. You should schedule a dentist appointment to find personalized oral health care today. And you can read on to find three treatment options for TMJ that can relieve chronic jaw pain and other discomforts.
Stress Relief Exercises
One of the major sources of strain and tension throughout the body is high stress levels. When you feel stressed, you can tense up as a result, which can lead to habits like teeth grinding or clenching. These behaviors will apply pressure to the teeth and jaw, which can irritate the temporomandibular joint and cause TMJ disorders.
If you make efforts to reduce overall stress, you can then decrease this strain on the jaw. Deep breathing exercises, for instance, can help you feel calmer and less tense.
Your dentist can also provide you with facial stretches that can target tight muscles in the jaw and loosen them. You can find relief from TMJ symptoms this way. But you should consult your dentist to learn if these actions will address your specific dental needs.
Wear a Custom Mouthguard
In many cases, teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, happens during sleep when you are not alert enough to stop this harmful behavior. For these patients, a dentist might suggest wearing a custom-made mouthguard. These appliances are worn as you sleep to provide protection from pressure on the teeth.
The night guard will cushion the teeth and also keep the jaw in a position of rest to prevent muscle strain. This way, you can wake up without tension and pain that may otherwise cause TMJ. The custom build of these devices ensures the fit feels both comfortable and secure so that it will not disrupt your sleep.
Amend Bite Problems
Bite problems refer to alignment issues in your teeth such as a malocclusion or a crooked smile. These concerns can mean that you distribute uneven pressure on your teeth as you bite and chew. Then you can feel strain and pain in these areas of the jaw over time.
Severe bite problems may need evaluation from an orthodontist to fix. But a dentist can address minor dental alignment issues with cosmetic solutions like Invisalign. These plastic aligners will gradually push teeth into a straighter position to make your bite even and less likely to hurt your jaw. Find the right TMJ treatment for you when you talk to your dentist.