If you have TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder), you have probably looked for a long time for a treatment that will be effective in relieving your symptoms or even, a cure for TMJ. You probably also know that finding this magic treatment is almost impossible. Taking a close look at the symptoms, known causes, and available treatments may help you to understand the confusion and frustration that often surround TMJ.
The Frustration of TMJ
Many TMJ patients report that both they and their doctor are frustrated by their condition because there seems to be no underlying cause or reason for their pain. It is believed that TMJ is often caused by a traumatic injury, but other factors like stress or genetics can figure into it as well.
When there is no obvious cause for the jaw pain, finding the appropriate TMJ diagnosis and treatment can be very difficult, at best.
TMJ Symptoms and Treatment
There are a wide variety of symptoms that accompany TMJ. Many of them overlap, meaning that the patient may experience one of them, or several of them, or even all of them. Many of the symptoms are also common with other medical conditions, leading to an uncertainty in a diagnosis until the condition becomes very severe.
Most of the symptoms include some sort of pain in the jaw or surrounding areas. TMJ pain treatment usually includes ibuprofen because it is both a pain killer and an anti-inflammatory. A muscle relaxer may also be used to help relieve tension in the jaw area. Relief of tension and inflammation in the jaw joint can help to relieve symptoms like migraine headaches, tooth and ear pain, and stiffness upon opening or closing the mouth.
TMJ treatment exercises will normally include both relaxation exercises and exercises that are designed to strengthen the muscles in the jaw.
Learning to relax can help the patient to sleep better and avoid both the grinding of the teeth at night and the clenching of the teeth during stressful situations. Likewise, strengthening the jaw muscles can help to keep the jaw aligned properly down the road. The stronger the muscles are, the less chance there is for damage to the joint underneath.
The Results You Can Expect
Every patient’s experiences will vary. No two results will be the same. The results of the TMJ treatment will be different and will depend on the severity of the condition, the original cause of the condition, and the treatment chosen.
While there is no exact cure for TMJ, relief from TMJ pain and symptoms is possible. If you are experiencing clicking or popping when you open your mouth, frequent severe headaches, decreased range of motion in your jaw, the feeling that your jaw opens to the side instead of vertically, lockjaw, or tooth pain, then you should talk to your doctor about getting a positive diagnosis of TMJ so that you can start a treatment plan as soon as possible.
You will probably not see results immediately, but with a little patience and a little time, you will find that you can get relief from TMJ symptoms and pain.
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