Help For TMJ Sufferers
Facial pain, neck discomfort, jaw clicks and clacks, soreness, tenderness — TMJ sufferers experience all of this. First, we should point out that everyone has temporomandibular joints and jaw muscles, shortened to TMJ. They make it possible for us to speak, chew food and open our mouths, but it shouldn’t be a pain to do so. The dentists at the Placerville Dental Group have some tips to manage that discomfort if you’re experiencing pain related to the TMJ.
Causes of TMJ Syndrome
When the TMJ muscles work correctly with their joints, we don’t even notice how hard our mouth is working to bite down and chew or speak. Our jaw muscles are very strong, and the joints cushion the force our mouth exerts. If there’s a problem with any part of this musculoskeletal group, the painful results easily disrupt daily activities. If you suffer from TMJ pain, check to see if you also experience the following:
- Stress and teeth grinding (bruxism);
- Misalignment of teeth or jaw;
- Joint inflammation caused by arthritis or other disease;
- Recent injury or trauma to your face or jaw.
An exam at the Placerville Dental Group is the first step to diagnosing and resolving TMJ pain. Our Placerville dentists perform a complete oral examination to check for inflammation, tenderness, pain, swelling, and “clicking” associated with TMJ syndrome.
Reduce the Affects of TMJ Syndrome
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research recommends trying practical at-home treatment before attempting surgical treatments. So before proceeding to oral surgery, patients normally try these first steps:
- Stop chewing gum or other objects, such as fingernails;
- Take over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, as instructed;
- Eat soft foods and avoid hard or crunchy ones;
- Use ice packs to reduce pain and swelling as needed;
- Avoid excessive yawning — rest and staying hydrated helps;
- Meditate on your life and reduce your stress.
Reducing stress is “easier said than done,” but it helps to minimize jaw tension and teeth clenching. You will also be examined for causes behind any bruxism, which may be treated without surgery.
If pain or discomfort continues despite trying these suggestions, there are other methods of treatment to alleviate TMJ pain. Our dentists can treat TMJ syndrome with a combination of non-surgical techniques, depending on the specific source of your TMJ pain. All treatments suggested are based on a complete diagnosis and exam, practical experience and modern technology available at our downtown Placerville office. For more information, contact us at our clinic on 699 Main Street, Suite B, via the phone at 530-295-8000 or by using our website. Don’t give up hope! Your TMJ pain can be solved with help from the Placerville Dental Group.