What You Need to Know About TMJ Disorder

Painful JawTemporomandibular joint and muscle (TMJ) disorder is a painful condition that affects the muscles and joints that connect the lower jaw and skull. Injury is its leading cause, but the condition can also present itself without warning. This is why many seek advice from cosmetic dentists in Pasadena, Sacramento, and other cities in California to determine if they have this condition.

What is TMJ?

The temporo-mandibular joint is a small joint located in front of the ear, which works like a sliding hinge that connects the jawbone and skull. It enables the lower jaw to move, allowing you to chew, yawn, and move your mouth around. It’s among the most complex joints in the body because the head and neck muscles, jaw, and teeth are linked to it. If something happens to any of these, it’ll affect other parts as well.

Dental Treatment

  1. Ultra Low Frequency Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation (ULF-TENS) – This tool helps your muscles relax by increasing the flow of blood. It also stimulates the production of endorphins to provide pain relief.
  2. Orthotics – This temporary device is like a retainer that you’ll wear over the teeth. It’ll help dentists determine the ideal position of your bite. It relieves painful symptoms, while slowly adjusting your bite to the correct spot.

Natural Treatment

After treatment, you’ll need a careful routine to speed up the healing process.

  1. Soft Food – Eat food that doesn’t require much chewing to allow the jaw to rest. Mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, fruit smoothies, and yogurts are some examples. Avoid food that requires big bites. Instead, slice them into very small pieces.
  2. Exercises – Apply moist heat on each side of the face for 10 minutes to relax tight muscles and avoid spasms. Perform light exercises by opening and closing the mouth, and then put an ice bag on the side of face afterwards.

Find a Pasadena CA dentist or any other dental expert in your area for consultation. Be prepared to answer questions for accurate results. This way, you’ll know what treatment is ideal.

Sources:

http://www.aaoms.org/conditions-and-treatments/the-temporomandibular-joint-tmj/
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tmj/basics/definition/con-20043566
http://www.dustinnelsondds.com/pasadena-dentists/