TMJ disorders may not be so common but a few number of people encounter troubles with their temporomandibular joint ever so often. TMJ is the joint that connects your jaw to the skull and helps in various mouth movements like chewing, speaking, smiling etc. This joint is delicate and any injury or disorder with TMJ can cause serious pain to a patient. Most people tend to ignore the initial symptoms of TMJ disorder however, if the situation continues on without proper treatment, you could end up dislocating your jaw. You are always encouraged to visit your doctor for professional medical help however, this article describes a few methods that may help alleviate your pain. But before that;
How to tell if you Have a TMJ Disorder?
Only a doctor can properly diagnose you but there are some common symptoms that every patient suffering from a TMJ disorder shows. If you are feeling majority of these symptoms, then it is likely that you have a temporomandibular joint disorder. These symptoms include:
- Pain in your face, especially around the jaw is a fair indication of TMJ disorder and you can also feel pain and tenderness in your whole face, neck as well as shoulders.
- Discomfort or inability to open your mouth wide
- You can feel excruciating pain while speaking or eating
- Swelling of the jaw muscles
- In addition to these symptoms, if you hear a clicking or popping sound every time you move your mouth, it is more than likely that you have a TMJ disorder.
- In addition to the direct symptoms, TMJ disorder can also cause secondary effects. You can feel constant headaches, toothaches and sometimes dizziness.
- It is common for TMJ patients to experience earaches and ringing in the ears as well.
Methods for Relieving Pains
You should immediately consult with your doctor if you notice these symptoms, ignoring this situation will only prolong your pain. The doctor will effectively treat your TMJ disorder however, there are certain things you can do on your own to relieve the pain, such as:
- Take NSAIDs – a large part of pain comes from the inflammation and swelling of the jaw muscles. Over the counter anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen can help take down the swelling. You can use muscle relaxants as well. Moreover, pain killers for the headaches and earaches can also help.
- Cold and Hot Packs – ice and heat is effective for alleviating any sort of pain and TMJ pain is no different. Apply hot or cold packs warped in a cloth to the affected area for immediate pain relief as direct contact can be harsh.
- Massage – massages and mild physical therapy is also an effective treatment for TMJ disorder. Try regular massages and muscle relaxing physical therapy to alleviate the pain. But remember to not overdo the TMJ therapy and stay clear of extreme exercises, they can make your condition worse.
- Use a Dental Splint – during the night, the uneven position of your teeth can result in pain. You can keep a dental splint or night guard in your mouth while sleeping to avoid the pain.