Home Care For TMJ

If you are experiencing frequent headaches, clicking or popping in the jaw, or pain in your face then you may be suffering from the common disorder, TMJ.

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What is TMJ?

The TemporoMandibular Joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. When it is stressed or overworked it is common to experience limited jaw movement and pain in the jaw and surrounding muscles. There are several different causes of TMJ including:

  • trauma to the teeth or jaw
  • grinding your teeth
  • poor posture
  • stress or anxiety
  • excessive gum chewing

 

Although TMJ is very common it can be hard to diagnose. 90% of TMJ sufferers are women, mostly between the ages of 20 and 40. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms you should consult your doctor, dentist or oral surgeon:

  • Jaw pain
  • Locking or dislocation of the jaw
  • Painful popping or clicking of the jaw
  • Tight, stiff, or sore jaw or neck muscles
  • Ear pain
  • Ringing or popping sounds in the ears
  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Tight, stiff, or sore jaw or neck muscles
  • Facial pain, cheek pain, or chin numbness or tingling

Home Remedies for TMJ

Most TMJ symptoms are due to overwork of the joints and muscles that move it and therefore there are a few ways to treat TMJ right at home. In order to relieve some of the pain you can apply ice or ice packs to the joint area. You can also use a heating pad to help get rid of the achiness. It may be most effective to alternate between cold and heat treatments until you feel some relief. Massaging the jaw or neck is a great way to relax the muscles and help with the pain. If these techniques don’t work you can always take over the counter pain relievers, such as aspirin or ibuprofen.

In an effort to try to prevent your condition from getting worse, try to pinpoint what might be causing your symptoms and make a conscious effort to stop. You should also eat soft foods and avoid chewing tough food or gum to give your jaw muscles some relief. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can work wonders. All of these techniques require you to consciously relax the muscles in your body helping with the pain. Lastly, even though it’s easier said than done, try to reduce any stress in your life.

Some TMJ maladies require a more sophisticated approach and treatment.

If your home remedies are not giving you the relief you need, call Dr. Elias for a consultation at (914) 873-0045.

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