TMJ can form from either developmental issues or an injury, and the pain can feel crippling to some people. If you suffer from TMJ, here is what you need to know about why it can hurt and how to treat it.
Why TMJ Can Hurt You
TMJ is a disorder involving the hinge located between your lower and upper jaw. When the hinge functions properly, it lets the lower jaw shift from right to left to reduce the pressure felt in your ear's Eustachian tube.
Joints that do not function properly can cause pain when moving your jaw to chew, talk, or even yawn. The joint can become locked in an open or closed position, and cause your ears to feel pressurized or full, similar to when your ears pop during a flight.
How To Treat TMJ At Home
You can provide relief to TMJ pain by trying to relax your jaw. Stress can cause you to unconsciously grind your teeth together or clench down on your jaw, adding unnecessary pressure to the joint. You need to consciously try to relax your jaw. Let the muscles relax whenever you can so that the tension does not build up over the day.
Some people find it helpful to give the muscles that surround the joint a massage. You can rub gently around the joint and the surrounding area. Professional massage can also help relax your entire upper body, which will relieve tension in your neck and shoulders that could be transferring to your jaw.
When To See A Specialist
Your dentist is the best person you can talk to regarding TMJ pain. For example, TMJ pain can be caused by missing teeth that cause stress in your mouth, and a dentist can create a prosthetic that will help compensate for the missing teeth.
Your dentist will start by taking x-rays to get a good idea of how your jaw has become misaligned. They may suggest using a splint that is worn much like a night-guard or dental retainer. It is designed to gently apply pressure on your jaw overnight so that it goes in the proper direction. Severe TMJ problems may require wearing a splint during the day as well. Splints are used to correct jaw alignment and maintain results, not as a way to permanently fix the problem.
You shouldn't suffer through TMJ pain if you do not have to. Visit a dentist like Chan Chang Boruah Dentistry today for advice about how to relieve the symptoms.