Dental Tips Blog

Sep
19

These 5 Activities Can Aggravate TMJ Pain

Posted in TMJ Therpy

Your temporomandibular joint is a very intricate part of your jaw. It’s loaded with cartilage and ligaments which scientists are still working to understand.

When it’s working normally, you hardly even notice it, that’s how smooth your temporomandibular joint is. The slightest strain or fatigue, however, is almost impossible to ignore.  Too much stress on your temporomandibular joint can result in temporomandibular joint disorder (called TMJ or TMD) which causes headaches, jaw pain, and other discomfort.

Take a look at how you’re doing in the following areas to see if there’s anything you can do to reduce tension on this delicate joint.

  1. Nibbling Habit

Nail biting, pen-chewing, and nibbling on your cheek or lip could all contribute to unnecessary stress on your temporomandibular joint. You might want to work on kicking those bad habits ASAP!

  1. Chewing Gum

Gum is a convenient breath freshener and can boost saliva production. But watch how often you chew it – chronic gum-chewing can lead to a tired jaw and chronic problems.

  1. Talking

On average, humans tend to talk about 10,000 – 20,000 words a day. Naturally, this varies with culture and personality. But if you have a job that has you on the phone for hours on end, you might want to consider giving your jaw a break!

  1. Sleep

Even the most restful activity could lead to TMJ pain. If you have a habit of grinding your teeth in your sleep, then this can cause damage to your temporomandibular joint.

  1. Stress

Tension and anxiety trigger some folks to clench their teeth tightly. Does your jaw hurt during rush-hour traffic? Is a stressful job or family problem giving you headaches? You may have TMJ or TMD due to stress-related clenching.

Ask your dentist for a comprehensive TMJ evaluation to cut your jaw some slack!

Posted on behalf of:
Sugar Creek Family Dental
1165 Gravois Rd. Suite 140
Fenton, MO 63026
(636) 255-8325

Mar
27

Therapy Options for TMJ

Posted in TMJ Therpy

TMJ/TMD is a disorder that affects many people all over the world. TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint which is the joint that connects the lower jawbone to the skull. These hinge joints are supposed to move easily, but sometimes they can get inflamed or locked up. This is what is called TMD for Temporomandibular Disorder.

This disorder is most often found because the patient is complaining of headaches, jaw pain, or pain in cheeks or shoulders.   In some patients, TMJ causes a ringing in the ears.  Your dentist will evaluate your case and discuss treatment options with you.

There are a variety of methods used to treat Temporomandibular Disorder with the advice and care of your dentist:

  1. Apply moist heat or ice packs
  2. Eat foods that are soft and easy to chew
  3. Take over the counter anti-inflammatory pain medicines like ibuprofen
  4. Wear a night guard to keep from grinding your teeth
  5. Practice keep your teeth apart when resting
  6. Learn some relaxation techniques to keep your stress level down

If none of these remedies are helping to relieve your pain your pain and discomfort, talk to your dentist about other treatment options. There are other potenial TMJ treatment options including those using radioactive waves and ultrasound. In addition, surgery can be an option in some cases. Your dentist will usually initially recommend the least invasive type of procedure appropriate for your condition.  If that treatment option fails to provide relief, then he or she may recommend trying  a more invasive procedure.  For most patients, one of these ways will provide relief from Temporomandibular Disorder and get you out of pain!

Posted on behalf of Randy Muccioli

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