Have you felt a tight, sore sensation in your jaw? Do you get frequent headaches or earaches? You might suffer from temporomandibular joint disorders, also known as TMJ. This condition refers to inflammation in the jaw joint stemming from muscular tension that can cause pain and oral dysfunction.
TMJ will require dental intervention to eradicate. Your dentist may suggest several ways to alleviate your symptoms, which will depend on the cause of the tension. Read on to learn three treatment methods your dentist might suggest for patients suffering from TMJ.
3 Treatment Options to Relieve TMJ Symptoms
Complete Stress Relief Exercises
Tension can often spread through the body due to high levels of stress. It can cause you to clench your jaw or grind your teeth, often without your acute awareness. If you relieve this stress, then you can reduce the tension that might hurt your jaw and lead to TMJ disorders.
Your dentist can offer advice to help you alleviate stress, including deep breathing exercises. They can also provide you with facial stretches that you can do to loosen tight muscles in the jaw.
When you relax these muscles, you can relieve uncomfortable symptoms associated with TMJ. Schedule an evaluation with your dentist to learn if this type of therapy will help your unique dental needs.
Wear a Custom Night Guard
If you grind or clench your teeth, this can occur without your notice and often will manifest during sleep when you definitely cannot control it. In these cases, your dentist might suggest that you wear a custom-made night guard overnight.
This oral appliance will cushion your teeth against grinding and absorb the excess pressure that could otherwise hurt your jaw. It will also keep your jaw in a position where it can rest as you sleep, further encouraging the muscles there to remain relaxed rather than tight.
Without the strain of pressure from teeth grinding, you should see a major reduction in discomfort from TMJ. The comfortable and secure fit of the personalized device will allow you to sleep without disruption or worrying about it falling out during the night too.
Fix Misaligned Bites
Sometimes, tension in the jaw can occur due to misalignment in the teeth or jaw. If you have bite problems, which can include crooked, gapped, or overlapped teeth, then you might distribute pressure unevenly when biting or chewing.
This will cause strain on the jaw that may lead to TMJ over time. Severe malocclusions and bite issues might need treatment from an orthodontist to amend. But your dentist can straighten mild alignment concerns in your teeth with Invisalign.
These plastic aligners are made to suit your unique smile and dental goals. You wear them over your teeth for 22 hours a day to gradually align your smile. Then you can bite without disruption or strain, which will relieve TMJ disorders. Your dentist can use x-ray imaging to learn if Invisalign is the best option to help your smile.