At Home Remedies for TMJ Disorder
Headaches, jaw joint pain or noise, limited mouth opening, ear congestion, dizziness, clenching, grinding, neck pain, teeth sensitivity, and insomnia. Do these symptoms sound familiar? If so, you could be one of many that suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ or TMD. In mild cases, you can relieve your unwanted symptoms at home.
TMJ or TMD pain is the same disorder that refers to pain and uncomfortable symptoms in the joints of the face. The joints are what allow the tendons, ligaments, muscles, and connective tissues to move. Joints are like hinges that connect your bones to one another and allow them to move around accordingly.
The temporomandibular joint is located in your head near the temporal bone and the mandible bone, hence the name “temporomandibular.” This joint is what connects this bone to your jaw, and it can be found on both sides of your face. Many people who suffer from TMJ pain will feel pain and other unwanted symptoms that can make it hard to talk or eat.
TMJ Disorder Symptoms
TMJ disorders affect over 10 million Americans alone. When people experience issues with this joint it can cause several different symptoms. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research explains that common TMJ symptoms fall under one of three main categories:
- Myofascial pain that involves discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function
- Internal derangement of the joint involving a displaced disc, dislocated jaw, or injury
- Arthritis referring to degenerative/inflammatory point disorders that can affect the temporomandibular joint
Within these, the symptoms you can experience are:
- Pain in the chewing muscles and jaw joint
- Radiating pain the face, jaw, or neck
- Jaw muscle stiffness
- Limited movement or locking of the jaw
- Painful clicking, popping, or grating in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth
- A change in how the upper and lower teeth fit together
- Headaches or migraines
You can feel this joint by placing your fingers slightly in front of your ears and then slowly opening and closing your mouth. If you notice knots or tightness in this area, that could also be a sign of TMJ.
These symptoms are exclusive to TMJ issues. Sometimes, these symptoms can accompany other problems like sleep apnea, teeth grinding, tooth decay, and more.
At-Home Remedies for TMJ Pain
If your pain has just started, at-home remedies could work for you. However, if the pain is severe, you should come see Dr. Ania right away. Here are our top picks to help relieve mild TMJ symptoms from the comfort of your own home:
- Anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medication, like ibuprofen, can help with the pain and soothe any inflammation near the joint. If you are unsure about the dosage, be sure you talk with your dentist or primary care physician.
- Heat and ice therapy can be useful to help bring inflammation down and help the jaw heal. Ice helps reduce inflammation and swelling, and heat helps promote blood circulation which speeds up healing.
- Eat soft foods. If your jaw hurts, avoid crunchy or sticky foods. Rather, stick to soft foods for a few days to see if that helps with your pain.
What Can Dr. Ania do for TMJ?
If you try these at-home remedies and are still experiencing pain, Dr. Ania can help. Dentists can treat these conditions in a few different ways, with surgery usually being the last option. Mouth Healthy by the American Dental Association explains that common treatments administered by dentists can include:
- Exercises to strengthen the jaw muscles
- Medications prescribed, like muscle relaxants, that can help with the pain
- A night guard to protect your jaw from the effects of clenching and teeth grinding
- Correcting an uneven bite by adjusting or reshaping teeth
- Orthodontic treatment
In addition to these options, Dr. Ania also offers dental Botox that is helpful for many patients. Dental Botox is an FDA-approved purified protein that is injected into targeted muscles and temporarily blocks nerve signals that cause muscle movements. This relaxes the muscle, which can help with muscle tension associated with TMJ pain.
Get Help with Your Symptoms
After reading this, do you think you are suffering from TMJ disorder? If so, call us now to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ania: (303)-872-9940. We will examine your mouth and jaw to determine the cause and exact source of your pain. Further, we have devices that can help stop TMJ disorder that are comfortable for your mouth.