Your temporomandibular joint, more commonly known as the TMJ, is an important joint that functions to open and close your jaws. It’s also a complex joint that has a sliding motion, much like a hinge. The motion of the joint can cause the TMJ to be displaced easily, resulting in friction, abrasion, and eventually, chronic jaw pain.
If you are one of many people who suffers from chronic jaw pain, there is good news. Your dentist can help with several effective treatments to relieve the stress of TMJ issues. North Kansas City Dental in North Kansas City, MO, offers comprehensive dental care, including TMJ treatment.
So, how do you know if you need treatment for TMJ?
These are just a few of the signs and symptoms you may experience:
- Frequent headaches, earaches, or facial pain
- Jaw pain that continues or gets worse
- Pain and difficulty chewing
- A popping or clicking sound when you open and close your jaws
- Your jaw locks in place when you open and close your mouth
There are a few things you can do to minimize TMJ symptoms. Remember to:
- Avoid chewing gum
- Try eating soft foods and avoid sticky or chewy foods
- Take over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications
- Gently massage your jaw muscles
- Apply moist heat or cold packs to your jaws
One of the most common reasons why people develop TMJ problems is because of grinding or clenching during sleep. Fortunately, your dentist can provide a custom-fit nightguard or splint to protect your teeth and help relax and cushion your jaws, to minimize grinding.
In addition to a custom-fit nightguard or splint, your North Kansas City, MO, dentist may recommend:
- Lifestyle and diet modifications
- Biofeedback and other stress management techniques
- Prescription-strength anti-inflammatory medication
- Prescription-strength muscle relaxants
- Physical therapy to stretch and relax your jaws
- Corticosteroid injections into the jaw joint
- Flushing the TMJ joint, known as lavage
You don’t have to suffer from chronic jaw pain when help is just a phone call away. To find out more about TMJ treatment and other dental services, call the dentists of North Kansas City Dental in North Kansas City, MO, at (816) 471-2911 now!