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How to Deal with TMJ Disorders

How to Deal with TMJ DisordersTMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, can be act as anything from a minor inconvenience to a serious issue in the lives of those affected. This disorder occurs when one or both of the joints connecting the lower jaw to the skull is knocked out of place, or is otherwise disturbed. Experts do not exactly know why this disorder occurs the way it does, but there are several known causes, including arthritis, whiplash, and injury to the jaw, head, or neck.

The disorder is marked by several symptoms. Common symptoms include:

• Pain in the jaw or surrounding areas
• Lock jaw
• Pain or ringing in the ears
• Popping or clicking sounds in the jaw
• Stiff or sore jaw muscles

Fortunately, experts have established several different ways to treat TMJ pain, if not the actual disorder itself. These treatments rank as conservative, active, and invasive.

Conservative treatments

Those who become aware of minor symptoms that may be caused by TMJ can benefit from employing some tactics on their own. Applying a cold compress to any affected area can significantly reduce any pain or soreness. Relaxation techniques can also help relax those who are tense. Tension in the jaw can be the cause or be prolonging the symptoms.

Active treatments

If at-home remedies do not work for you, visiting a TMJ specialist can yield positive results. They may be able to prescribe a mouth guard or splint to keep you from clenching or grinding your teeth at night, which is a known cause of the disorder. They may even recommend physical therapy, which can work to stretch the right muscles and strengthen the area.

Invasive

In severe cases, surgery may be required to adjust the jaw joint.

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