Your temporomandibular joint helps you eat your food, talk and comes into the picture pretty much every time you move your jaw. This joint is where your jawbone meets the skull. Sometimes, problems may arise with it, especially when the tissues surrounding it get inflamed, leading to temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ.
Causes of TMJ
There may be several factors putting you at the risk of developing TMJ disorder. One of the most common instances includes injury in your jaw. People who have arthritis are more vulnerable to having TMJ. Some studies suggest that people who grind and clench their teeth so much also fall prey to this problem.
Symptoms of TMJ
The symptoms of TMJ depend upon the severity of the condition. Most people go through excruciating pain in the area that connects the jaw and skull. Some people also experience trouble eating their food, talking, and even opening their jaws. TMJ may affect one side of your face, and in some conditions, it affects both of them. Other symptoms include clicking sound when you open your mouth, intense swelling, etc.
Management of TMJ
If you experience any of the above symptoms, we advise you to meet our dentist. They will diagnose the cause of your problem and recommend a suitable treatment for the same. The management of this order also depends upon the gravity of the condition.
Our dentist may give you a nightguard or splint to wear at night. These are plastic mouthpieces, similar to a mouth guard used by athletes. Fit them over your upper and lower teeth, and they will not touch. Wearing a nightguard lessens the effect of bruxism (grinding of teeth) and also helps to correct your bite.
Our dentist may also perform other dental work to restore your teeth, including crowns or bridges, to balance their biting surfaces and correct a bite problem.
You may be given medications to manage pain and swelling, and relax your jaw if you clench your teeth too much.
- Apart from all the above-listed options, our dentist will suggest you follow some tips to ease your pain and manage the disorder:
- Apply an ice pack on the side of the swelling or pain and keep it for 10 minutes. You can also perform some jaw stretches to relax the muscles of your jaw.
- Stay away from hard foods as they may aggravate the pain. Add food items such as cottage cheese, soup, yogurt, beans, grains, etc., to your diet.
- Avoid intense jaw movements, and do not rest your chin on your hand. If possible, try to keep your teeth apart from each other as it will relieve pressure on your jaw.