Pain Management Techniques For TMJ Problems
Every moment in your body is controlled by various joints and muscles that work in perfect coordination, helping you move effortlessly. The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are two of such joints which connect your jawbone to the skull. These hinge-like joints are responsible for helping you speak and eat you your meals. While most people never think twice about them in their whole life, quite a few tend to suffer from TMJ problems leading to painful chewing, pain in the ear, jaw, face and neck.
TMJ problems are caused due to different reasons. The common causes for this condition are arthritis, overuse of the jaw, injury and inflammation. People who suffer from TMJ disorders find it hard to carry on with their daily routines and often grind and clench their teeth even without realising, which in turn can lead to dental wear and toothaches.
Before you start worrying about the condition, here are some tips to help you manage your TMJ problems effectively.
- Switch to softer foods
One of the simplest things you can do to ease your TMJ pain is switching to softer foods. Food items that don’t require you to bite and chew down hard will give your jaws enough rest to recover from the pain. A soft diet doesn’t necessarily mean liquid food items. You can easily munch on steamed, mashed or finely chopped vegetables, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, soft meat like fish or chicken etc. However, make sure that you stay away from harder meats, chewy sweets and crunchy snacks during this period.
- Take a good break
If your TMJ problems are mild, getting enough rest for your jaws is more than enough to relieve the pain and get you back on track with your day to day activities. This is why our dental experts recommend taking a break from all activities that require you to move your jaw too much. Apart from switching to a soft diet, you can also restrict the moment of your jaw in different ways. Try talking less and limit opening your mouth wide. While brushing your teeth or yawning, support your lower jaw with a hand to keep your jaw from locking. You can also try applying a warm towel to your jaw and neck for 15 -20 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day to relax the muscles and relieve the pain.
- Jaw exercises
Most TMJ treatments and pain management methods end with recommendations for jaw exercises. Once the pain has subsided, you can start doing gentle jaw exercises that will loosen up the joints and muscles and improve your overall jaw moment. Jaw strengthening, stretching and relaxing exercises will gently coax your temporomandibular joints to work better.
- Get expert help
If you notice that your pain keeps recurring or your TMJ problems are getting more severe, it is recommended to get medical help at the earliest. Our dental surgeon can suggest the best-suited TMJ treatment for you, which may include oral medications, injections and exercises. In extreme cases, our dental surgeon may also suggest a surgical correction of your jaw, which will help relieve the pain and help your jaws move easily and effortlessly. Our dental surgeon may also recommend a custom-fit night guard to help the jaw muscles relax during your sleep.
In most cases, TMJ problems are manageable with simple lifestyle changes and exercises. If you are looking for expert advice, visit our specialists Dr Philippe Chanavaz (Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon) Or Pr Pierre Bouletreau (Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon) today at The Dome MedDental Clinic DMCC, who will recommend the best course of TMJ treatment in Dubai to alleviate your condition.