Does your jaw pop, crack, stick in place, or battle soreness throughout the day? TMJ disorders can range from mild grinding of the joint to severe discomfort. In most cases, it is best to battle the discomfort or joint disorder with non-surgical, therapeutic methods to relieve pain and increase mobility. Here are a few ideas to help you manage the symptoms of TMJ disorder, including TMJ treatment options at your dentist.
• Apply a moist, hot compress.
A warm, moist compress against the joint can help relieve swelling and joint discomfort. Some people also find it useful to alternate a warm compress with a cold one every few minutes.
• Avoid chewing hard food or overusing the joint
Chewing foods that are difficult due to their firmer texture will place unnecessary strain on the joint. Avoid chewing gum throughout the day as this can place further strain on the TMJ. Stick to softer foods, or foods that can be cut up smaller to make chewing easier.
• Take an anti-inflammatory medication
Taking an anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen can reduce swelling of the muscles and tissues in and around the TMJ area. Always take medication as directed and under the supervision of your dentist or doctor. In more severe cases, your dentist or doctor may recommend a prescription muscle relaxer for pain management.
• Wear a professionally made splint device
Preventing the jaw from experiencing excess strain can be achieved by wearing a customized bite splint. These TMJ splints place the jaw in a resting position that eliminates the locking or clenching of the joint. Ask your dentist about making a bite splint for immediate pain relief during the day or night.
Posted on behalf of Dan Myers
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