Home Remedies for TMJ Treatment
Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ) connect the jaw to your skull and take action every time you are eating or speaking.
TMJ disorders are not as expected but occur for sure. They happen when something is amiss with the mouth and jaw muscles. Often, this happens due to a jaw injury, an inflammation caused by infections like arthritis, or jaw overuse.
Symptoms of TMJ may include:
- Painful chewing
- Painful ears, jaw, face, and neck area
- You can experience locking of the joints
- Popping or cracking sounds when you open the jaw
How are TMJ disorders diagnosed at Dr. Teeth Dental Care?
When you go for a TMJ treatment near you, you will discuss the symptoms with your dentist after they examine the jaw. The examination includes:
- Listen and feel how your jaws react when you open and close the mouth
- Observing how far your jaw opens, as well as the motions
- Pressing on different areas of your jaw to detect pan sites.
- If your doctor suspects a problem, they might do the following:
- Carry out dental x-rays to examine your jawbones.
- A CT scan provides images of the condition of the bone around the jaw.
- MRI scan to reveal the joint disks and the surrounding soft tissues.
A TMJ arthroscopy is also severally used in the diagnosis of these disorders. Here, your dentist inserts a cannula (thin tube) with a small camera (arthroscope) attached in the end inside the jaw space. This aids the physician in viewing the area, which reveals signs of a disorder.
Exercises to Relieve TMJ Pain
In most cases, TMJ pain is the most prevalent symptom of TMJ disorders. The first stage of TMJ treatment in Bay City, TX, involves alleviating the pain. Any of the following mouth exercises can help relieve the pain instantly as you wait for further instructions.
- Relaxed Jaw – You have to gently relax your tongue on the roof of your mouth slightly behind the upper incisors. Set your teeth apart while you rest your jaw joints.
- Goldfish Exercise (partial opening) – This is the partial jaw opening where you rest the tongue on the roof of your mouth, then placing a finger near the area, in the area where the joint is located. With your middle or pointer finger placed on your chin, drop the lower jaw halfway, then close it. You should experience mild resistance and not pain. One set should contain six of these exercises. Do up to six sets in a day.
- Goldfish (Full Opening) – Rest the tongue on the mouth’s roof and place a finger on the TMJ and another on the chin. For this one, you have to drop the jaw completely and then close it. Just like the partial exercise, a set should contain six exercises and complete six sets daily.
- Chin Tucks – Set your shoulders back and raise your chest. You then pull back your chin straight towards the neck to create a “double-chin.” Hold in this position for about three seconds and repeat the exercise 10 times.
- Resisted Mouth Opening – Placing your thumb under the chin, slowly open your mouth, and gently push against the chin. This creates some resistance. You should hold for 3-6 seconds and slowly close your mouth back up.
- Resisted Mouth Closing – Use your thumb and index finger to squeeze the front and bottom of your chin. Close the mouth as you gently put pressure on the chin. This strengthens your jaw muscles which makes chewing easier.
- Tongue up – Let your tongue touch the upper mouth roof, then gently open and close the mouth. Repeat severally.
- See-saw jaw movement – get a quarter-inch object like a stacked tongue depressor between the front teeth and slide the side of your jaw to slide. The easier the exercise becomes, it strengthens your jaw muscles, so you need to increase the object’s size. You can even stack the objects together to increase thickness.
- Forward jaw movement – Move the bottom jaw forth and backward with a ¼ inch object between the teeth. Increase the object thickness as the exercise becomes easy.
These medications may help relieve TMJ pains along with non-surgical exercises.
- Pain relievers – Your dentist might recommend more potent pain killers to over-the-counter medications for a limited time if the latter does not work.
- Tricyclic antidepressants – They are mostly used for depression, however, in low doses. They include the likes of amitriptyline, which also relieves pain, bruxism and control sleeplessness.
- Muscle Relaxants – TMJ pain caused by muscle spasms is best controlled using muscle relaxants.