What Daily Routine Should Be Followed When Suffering from a TMJ Disorder
TMJ, the acronym for Temporomandibular Joint, is a joint located on both sides of the jaw that works similar to a sliding hinge between the jawbone and skull. A variety of things cause a TMJ disorder, including an injury to the jaw, teeth or jaw misalignment, arthritis, genetics, and even teeth grinding. You can eliminate or ease the pain in the jaw or the muscle that supports the jaw by following a proper daily routine.
Besides pain, many people experience stiffness and a popping sound when opening and closing the mouth. While these symptoms can go away on their own, usually, people need to undergo managed care or nonsurgical TMJ disorder treatment. While surgery is an option, it is used only as a last resort.
If you suffer from TMJ pain caused by a misalignment or grinding of the teeth, it is imperative that you see a dentist who specializes in this field. The dentist will make a proper diagnosis and then lay out a TMJ pain treatment plan. In some cases, braces help by realigning the teeth.
More than likely, the dentist will send you home with instructions on what you should do on a daily basis to eliminate pain and prevent further damage. As an example, you will probably need to wear a custom bite plate to prevent you from grinding your teeth. Depending on your dentist’s advice, you would wear it at times during the day and then while sleeping.
You can also apply both hot and ice packs to the affected side of the jaw to help with inflammation and pain. Over-the-counter pain medicine may also help. If your dentist prescribed muscle-relaxing or anti-inflammatory medication, you would take that during the day as directed.
Until you get the pain under control, follow a soft food diet and limit any large movements of the jaw, such as singing and yawning. In addition, you will need to avoid certain things, such as biting your nails, chewing gum, and biting your lower lip. Even maintaining good posture throughout the day and using several jaw-relaxing techniques will help with a TMJ disorder.
Along with seeing a dentist, it is essential for you to make changes to your daily routine as part of your overall treatment. Now, if the pain becomes too intense or you experience other issues, schedule an appointment to see the dentist again. At that point, he or she will determine if a more invasive treatment would help. Sometimes, a dentist will refer patients to a specialty doctor for further evaluation and treatment.
If you experience the symptoms of TMJ, the first thing to do is see a reputable dentist. From there, you would follow his or her recommendations. By doing so, you should see a marked improvement in a short amount of time.