How Can I Relieve Jaw Pain From TMJ Disorder?
Some of the primary symptoms of jaw joint dysfunction include facial aches and jaw pain, as well as pain around the temples and ears. These signs can be indicative of TMJ disorder (TMD), an all-encompassing term for misalignment or malfunction of the joints that connect the jaw to the rest of the head. Feeling the symptoms of TMJ disorder throughout the day can be debilitating, making even simple actions like chewing and yawning very difficult. There are a few ways that can help reduce TMJ discomfort and minimize the extent of your symptoms, including:
- Wearing a custom night guard: A customized oral appliance can help you avoid grinding and clenching your teeth during sleep, which often worsens your symptoms and pushes your jaw joints further out of place.
- Undergoing therapeutic BOTOX® injections: In some cases, your doctor or dentist may recommend BOTOX® as an injectable muscle relaxant to reduce pressure on your jaws and alleviate aches from your facial muscles.
- Orthodontic treatment: One of the potential causes of TMJ pain is a “bad bite,” or misalignment of the upper and lower dental arches. If x-rays reveal that malocclusion could be the source of your TMD, Invisalign® can be utilized to discreetly straighten your teeth and optimize your bite.
- Medications: For a short-term solution, medications that aid in sleeping, reduction of inflammation, or relaxation of the muscles may be prescribed for temporary relief from TMJ pain; however, remember that professional treatment from a dentist or TMJ specialist will still be necessary to help ensure symptoms do not exacerbate.
In general, TMJ symptoms can worsen the longer they remain untreated. If you are contending with jaw pain from TMJ disorder, Dr. Jeff Blackburn can personalize a treatment plan to identify the root cause of your TMD and reduce your symptoms. Please contact our practice for more information about TMJ disorder, or to schedule a consultation.