TMJ Treatment Options You Should Try
What is TMJ?
It is a joint in the face of the human body that holds together the upper and lower jaw of the mouth. It is usually referred to as Temporomandibular Joint. The joint is responsible for the different functions of the mouth. It is virtually impossible to eat, bite, laugh, talk, yawn, among many other things, without this joint. Still, very few people acknowledge its importance, until there’s a problem.
Dysfunctions of the TMJ are often known as Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD). TMD is not a rare condition. The only difference is that patients experience it in different severities. Other than that, most disorders of TMJ last between 1-2 days. The symptoms often disappear shortly after the pain is experienced.
What Causes TMD?
The cause of TMD varies from one patient to another. The longer the symptoms of TMD, the more intense the cause was. Some of the causes include:
- External impact – if you got in a fight and incurred a heavy blow on your face, it could hurt your TMJ. Most sportspersons experience problems with TMJ, particularly high-contact sports.
- Excessive teeth grinding – otherwise known as bruxism. It is where the patient is constantly grinding teeth against each other, especially at night. This puts pressure on the facial muscles and tires the jawbone. It can, therefore, lead to TMD.
- Disc displacement – the discs in the joint can be misplaced, causing a dysfunction.
Natural Remedies for TMJ
There is no particular holistic approach to treating TMD. Your dentist will explore the treatment option that best suits the symptoms you are experiencing. Besides that, the cause of your problem could point your doctor to the best treatment option. One of the ways to address TMJ issues is using natural remedies like those highlighted below:
- Cold compress – use an ice bag and place it on the side of your cheek you are experiencing pain. The cold compress will reduce the swelling you may have, and alleviate the pain.
- Hot compress – it works similarly to a cold compress. However, instead of ice bags, use moist heat. You can use a moist towel that has been soaked on hot water. This will loosen up the muscles of your face to improve functionality. Besides, it is a natural way of reducing pain levels.
- Jaw exercises – your dentist may subject you to a couple of jaw movement. They are meant to exercise your jawbone and your facial muscles. Improved jaw mobility can also help improve the function of your jawbone and TMJ. It is also a way to facilitate the healing process.
- Gum chewing – this is also a great way to get your joint working efficiently. Chewing gum will flex your muscles and exercise your jawbone.
- Face massages – it could be that your facial muscles are too tight. Facial massages can help relax your facial muscles. In turn, it relieves the tension and pressure exerted in the TMJ.
TMJ Relief at Home
Even after talking to a dental expert, what you do at home can better or worsen your condition. It is why you should consider the TMJ alternatives to survive at home. Most of the natural remedies for TMJ can be practiced at home to relieve you of pain and discomfort. Besides those, some other things you should try include:
- Sleep on the side – use a soft pillow to support your neck and head. Sleeping in the side can take off some of the pressure on the side of the joint that aches.
- Switch to soft foods – sometimes all your jaw needs is a small break. Take the break from chewing hard foods and indulge in soft foods for a few days.
- Support your chin – when yawning and laughing out loud, be sure to support your chin. This will prevent the lock-jaw position from happening.
- Reduce stress – the more stressed you are, the more tension your facial muscles experience. Resolve for yoga and meditation classes to relax your body and reduce stress.
How to cure TMJ Permanently
Family dental care may be the best way to completely treat TMD. Talking to an expert will allow you to get all the insights into what the actual diagnosis of your problem is. Narrowing down to the underlying cause will help deal with the problem permanently. Besides, dental experts have special tools and applications to permanently restore the health of your jawbone and respective joint.