There is no cure for TMJ. If you have been diagnosed with TMJ, your doctor may have told you that part of the problem is that you clench your teeth when you get stressed. At the very least, this habit probably aggravates your TMJ.
A dental device may be used, sometimes called a mouth guard to keep your teeth from grinding together. However, this is a not a cure, it is a remedy to the problem. If you are interested in maintaining the integrity of your teeth, it may still be worth it.
Your doctor was right when he/she told you that teeth clenching was aggravating your TMJ. You see, the jaw muscles are naturally tense anyhow. They are also very weak and any type of trauma or stress can set them out of alignment to the point that they can become very painful.
Unfortunately, even a small misalignment in the jaw can lead to a multitude of different problems throughout the body. For example, when the nerves in the jaw become pinched or damaged, a patient often experiences problems with their equilibrium. This is due to the fact that the nerves in the jaw are directly connected to the ear and the nerves that control equilibrium.
A stiff neck or back can be a direct extension of tension in the jaw due to clenching or grinding of the teeth.
If your TMJ is caused by teeth clenching or grinding, the only way to stop it is to learn to relax the muscles in your jaw, along with strengthening them so that stress does not affect them as badly.
Along with doing some exercises for TMJ, it will benefit you to learn relaxation techniques. As far as exercises go, there are four different types that will be beneficial to you.
Exercises that will loosen up and strengthen the neck and shoulders will help you because of their direct connection to the jaw. If your jaw becomes stiff, your neck and shoulder muscles will be the first ones affected.
Jaw exercises for TMJ will help you to loosen up the muscles when you feel them become stiff. They will help to realign a jaw that has been misaligned.
As silly as it sounds, learning to exercise and relieve tension from the tongue will help you to eliminate any tension in it that might transfer to the jaw muscles. Facial exercises for TMJ can really help a person to stop clenching their teeth during times of stress.
People who have TMJ that is directly related to stress or teeth grinding report that after they began these TMJ exercises, they saw a significant decrease, if not total elimination, of the symptoms of their TMJ. It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen with a little time and patience.
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