Dealing With TMJ Disorder

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Temporomandibular disorder, often referred to as TMJ or TMD, is a disorder of the temporomandibular joint that connects your jaw to your skull.

It is a complex joint that consists of muscles, ligaments, and nerves. TMJ is a common condition that can be caused by traumatic events, stress, or even a habit like teeth grinding.

Living with TMJ can be challenging, as the condition has been linked to migraines, orofacial pain, and other painful and uncomfortable symptoms. There is hope, however. Let’s look at living with TMJ and how the condition can be mitigated through treatment.

What Causes TMJ Disorder?

TMJ disorder is a condition in which the jaw joint can’t move smoothly and causes pain. It can be caused by injuries to the jaw, teeth grinding, arthritis, or improper alignment of the teeth. To determine whether you have TMJ disorder, visit our practice to have your jaw and teeth checked.

What Are The Symptoms of TMJ Disorder?

There are many different symptoms of TMJ disorder, and it is essential to get a proper diagnosis. A doctor may refer you to an ENT specialist or a dentist to get a more accurate diagnosis. They will examine you and look for areas of pain and may order x-rays and imaging studies to determine whether your jaw is crooked. Face, neck, shoulder, and head pain are frequent symptoms of TMJ.

The jaw joint itself can also be painful and overstretched, causing muscle spasms. In addition, TMJ-related symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, and migraines. However, these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, which is why a diagnosis is so important.

What Are My Treatment Options for TMJD?

The first step in treatment for TMJ disorder is determining the underlying cause. If you are experiencing jaw pain, clicking, or popping sounds, this disorder may be related to clenching or grinding of the teeth. It can also be caused by other habits, such as stress or allergies. If you are experiencing symptoms, you should seek medical advice and consider other treatment options, such as orthodontics.

Medications can help you cope with the symptoms of TMJ disorder. Anti-inflammatory drugs, like aspirin and ibuprofen, can reduce muscle spasms and relieve pain. In some cases, physicians may also prescribe muscle relaxants. These medicines help relax tight muscles in the jaw and relieve the discomfort of chewing.

In some cases, low doses of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications may also be prescribed. A medical professional might advise using NSAIDs in higher doses or possibly switching to narcotic painkillers in more severe cases. You can do some activities to strengthen the joint and ease the pain.

Exercises for Dealing with TMJ Disorder

Exercises for treating TMJ disorder include jaw exercises that restore range of motion and reduce pain associated with the disorder. The exercises target the jawbone and muscles in the neck and throat. They also help to align the jawbone while chewing. One exercise is the tongue up and wiggle exercise, which involves placing the tongue on the palate while moving the jaw from side to side.

These exercises can help prevent TMJ pain. However, if you do start feeling pain, stop immediately. The joint may need more time to engage. To start, close your mouth slowly and move your jaw to the left without turning your head or neck. Hold this position for a few seconds, then repeat on the opposite side.

Why Should I See A Chiropractor for TMJ Disorder?

Chiropractic adjustments for TMJ disorder can help relieve pain and realign jaw bones. They can also reduce irritation and allow soft tissues to heal more effectively. Chiropractic care for TMJ disorder may also relieve stress. It’s critical to have a strong understanding of the disease before starting any treatment. However, it is important to note that not all chiropractic treatments will help alleviate TMJ pain.

How Can We Help?

Our team of dentists and chiropractors have over 50 years of combined experience and are dedicated to working together to treat your TMJ disorder in a way that reduces your pain over just a few short appointments. Working collaboratively with dentists and chiropractors means that you receive holistic treatment that targets multiple causes and symptoms of TMJ disorder. There’s no reason to live with the pain any longer!

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To schedule an appointment, please call (03) 9417 4038 or get in touch here.