5 Essential Steps for TMJ Relief: Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Self Care
Imagine this: you’re out at your favorite restaurant, eagerly awaiting that prime steak you’ve been daydreaming about. But when you finally take that bite, an unexpected pain disrupts your anticipated pleasure. Could this be the workings of TMJ disorder?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ), a connection between your jaw muscles and skull, operates like a sliding hinge. It’s the hero, along with your facial muscles, behind your ability to chew, talk, and yawn. However, when pain arises during these basic activities, TMJ disorders are likely the culprit. Some symptoms include:
- A tender or painful jaw
- Pain in one, or both, or your temporomandibular joints
- Pain or discomfort in or around your ear
- Difficulty or pain while chewing
- A locked joint, which makes opening or closing the mouth difficult
- A unsettling clicking or grating sensation when your mouth is opened
Unfortunately, TMJ is often misdiagnosed as tooth pain, a misaligned jaw, or even Trigeminal Neuralgia, which is part of a neurological condition caused by a stroke or multiple sclerosis. In order to properly diagnose TMJ, you must seek the advice of a dental specialist, such as Omaha’s most trusted dental care team at Today’s Dental.
5 Self-Care Steps to Soothe Your TMJ
TMJ pain affects your ability to eat, sleep, and speak, but that does not mean you are helpless! Self-care methods can greatly reduce your TMJ pain, and allow you to resume normal activities.
Wear a Mouth Guard:
By preventing teeth clenching and realigning the jaw, customized mouth guards prove indispensable. Today’s Dental can craft a tailored mold to address your TMJ concerns.
Utilize Stress-Relief Techniques:
Many people unknowingly clench their jaws during stressful situations. Learning stress-relief techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, and breathing can reduce the wear and tear stressful situations create for your jaw.
This technique is frequently used to relieve TMJ pain with excellent results. A traditional practice in Eastern medicine, acupuncture can suppress pain perception in the affected jaw and facial areas.
A quick, low-maintenance way to ease TMJ pain is to use your index and middle fingers to slowly, yet firmly stroke the areas that feel painful.
TMJ may not necessarily indicate a weakened jaw muscle, but could be a manifestation of another affected area, such as your back, neck, or stomach. By utilizing strength training, you will create a network of strong muscles that support your overall posture.
Beyond immediate relief, consider long-term strategies. Avoid habits that might exacerbate TMJ pain, such as excessive gum chewing or biting on hard objects. Regularly practicing the self-care methods above can also serve as preventive measures. TMJ might present a challenging interruption in your life, but you’re not powerless. Implement the suggested self-care measures, consult experts at Today’s Dentist, and reclaim those joyous moments, like savoring that steak dinner you’ve been craving!