Temporomandibular joints act like a hinge, connecting your jawbone to the skull. The joints can malfunction and result in compromised movements, a condition referred to as temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ). Totowa TMJ treatment is critical to avoid developing complications such as tooth erosion, chronic pain, inflammation, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and sleep apnea. Moreover, if left unchecked, the condition can worsen and require invasive treatments like surgery. Here is a glance at the common conservative TMJ management you can adopt at home.
Do you fancy chewing gum? Excess jaw movements can aggravate TMJ. Avoiding habits like chewing gum can help manage the symptoms and facilitate better recovery. Pressure also counts, which is higher when you chew hard foods. You need to press harder to effectively grind hard food, which exerts more stress on the jaw and the joints. Managing your chewing habits and minimizing as much as possible can help you alleviate TMJ symptoms.
Stress is a part of life, but it should not be overlooked as you strive to stay healthy. Stress is associated with bruxism, a condition characterized by involuntary teeth clenching or grinding. Bruxism results in the repeated jaw and joint movements and increased stress due to the clenching/grinding force. Stress triggers or aggravates bruxism, hence the need to effectively manage it as you strive or prevent or manage TMJ.
Appliances such as bite guards and occlusal or stabilization splints help align your dental structure. Oral appliances are a go-to for treating sleep apnea and managing bruxism and can also help in TMJ situations. A custom dental splint helps cushion your jaw and teeth from grinding impact and, with the improved alignment, minimizes compromised movements. Moreover, you improve sleep quality, which is essential in managing stress, anxiety, and depression, further minimizing bruxism impact and avoiding worsening TMJ.
Massage and jaw exercises can help improve flexibility, muscle strength, and range of motion. Gently stretching your jaw and neck muscles, which can be combined with massage, helps. You can also consult a physical therapist to help you find appropriate jaw exercises considering the TMJ symptoms severity. Strong muscles, improved flexibility, and a better range of motion can help avoid joint locking and muscle spasms, making it easier to manage TMJ symptoms.
Ice and heat
Ice and heat can help manage TMJ pain and muscle spasms. Ice/cold on the target area helps you reduce the pain and swelling. Heat can help relax the jaw muscles and improve blood flow. While hot/cold compress offers temporary symptom relief, it can significantly help avoid aggravating TMJ, such as due to heightened stress levels when dealing with more pain.
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medication can help manage the pain and swelling. Nonetheless, caution is advised to avoid pitfalls like developing dependence.
The above home remedies can help you manage TMJ, but you shouldn’t stop there. Seeking medical attention is essential to ensure the condition is effectively treated. TMJ treatments like injections can offer better and more lasting relief, which can help you avoid surgery. Contact b Dental Spa today for more on TMJ and treatments available.