Do you have pain in the back of your mouth that doesn’t go away? It might be more than just an annoyance that disrupts your everyday routine. If you’ve ever experienced a locked jaw, facial swelling or even hearing problems, then you may find yourself with a temporomandibular joint disorder, better known as TMJ. Many people go months or even years without ever realizing the pain they are having is from TMJ.
What Is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joints are the small joints in front of each ear that attach your lower jaw to your skull. They allow you to open and close your mouth, chew, speak, and swallow. TMJ disorders can be caused by a variety of factors, including major trauma such as an auto accident, teeth-clenching or systemic joint disease, like rheumatoid arthritis.
Signs and symptoms of TMJ include:
- Pain in the jaw joint
- Jaw clicking and popping
- Ear pain/earache
- Popping sounds in ears
- Stiff or sore jaw muscles
- Pain in the temple area
- Locking of the jaw joint.
Remedies for TMJ
In some cases, the symptoms of TMJ disorders may go away without treatment. But for many patients, home care is needed and in some cases, professional procedures may be necessary.
There are numerous treatment methods that can help alleviate TMJ pain or discomfort, including putting ice packs over the joints, taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, massaging the painful area around the jaw, and stress-reduction techniques.
More aggressive approaches by a professional may be necessary and can include dental splints, Botox injections, physical therapy, prescription medications, and in serious cases, surgery.
Prevention is key for those worried about developing this disorder. Doctors suggest:
- Avoiding excessive gum chewing and eating hard or chewy foods
- Regularly massaging your jaw, cheeks and temple muscles
- Maintaining proper posture with neck support
- Using a hot pad or hot towel over the side of your face or jaw for 10-15 minutes as a natural muscle relaxer
- Meditation and relaxation practices to reduce stress and prevent early prognosis of TMJ.
Call Today For A Consultation
If you find yourself with TMJ-related symptoms and at-home remedies do not help, be sure to schedule a consultation with our team at Dental Partners of Brookline.
We are highly skilled at diagnosing and treating TMJ. There are no needles, no drugs and no tools in your mouth, just a proven solution to your TMJ symptoms. Request an appointment today.