Getting Relief from TMD
Temporomandibular joint disorder currently plagues over ten million Americans today. This disorder, also referred to as TMJ, occurs in the joints just below each ear. This is where the lower jaw and the skull connect. The temporomandibular joint allows the jaw to preform several movements – up and down, back and forth, and side to side. These movements permit you to chew, speak, and laugh, among other actions. The disorder occurs when the joint is knocked out of place, when the soft tissue cushion shifts, or the area sustains an injury.
Pain caused by TMJ can range from inconvenient to debilitating. It can prevent you from speaking and eating, and even cause lock jaw, which inhibits your ability to open or close your mouth at all. Patients also commonly experience pain in the head and neck, as well. Fortunately, there are several tactics used by TMJ experts to relieve the symptoms of the disorder. However, you may want to first start with a few at-home remedies. Applying a cold compress to the affected area can alleviate pain for some time, and may even work until the issue dissipates, which is known to happen. Patients also find success in reducing sources of stress. Stress can cause us to tense up in certain areas, including the jaw, and clenching or grinding the teeth is a known cause of TMJ. Relaxing the jaw muscles with relaxation techniques and stretching can possibly eliminate the issue altogether.
Recent studies show that the more complicated issues we once thought were causes of the disorder are in fact unrelated. Therefore, you and your TMJ doctor will likely be able to find a more conservative, non-invasive treatment for your pain and discomfort.
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