If you have been dealing with TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, for awhile, you may have spent some time researching this medical condition and looking for causes and treatments.
The one statement that you have probably run into time and again is that there is no known cure for TMJ at this time. This is because there is no one cause that can be pinpointed as being the major factor behind development of the disease.
You may have tried a variety of home remedies for TMJ, including rest, ice, and over the counter pain medication. You may have even tried prescription pain killers, which might work at first, but will eventually wear off – leaving you with the same pain as when you started.
Available also are chiropractic adjustments for TMJ, physical therapy exercises for TMJ, and so-called “natural” cures for TMJ. All of these will help you to deal with the symptoms, but will not actually cure you of the condition.
Until an exact cause can be found for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, a cure is still far in the future.
Some of the suspected causes are as follows:
• Trauma – This is the easiest cause to pinpoint as it can be traced back to some sort of physical trauma. This trauma does not have to be to the jaw. The condition can also originate from any sort of trauma to the head, neck, or spine. TMJ is something that doctors hear about frequently after a sports injury or automobile accident.
• Stress – Stress is a controversial, but very real cause of TMJ. Any sort of tension in the neck or jaw muscles can trigger the pain that is associated with TMJ. This is evident especially in those who tend to clench their jaws when they become tense or nervous. Doctors will often recommend massage therapy, yoga, or relaxation exercises for these patients.
• Teeth Grinding – Teeth grinding is one cause that is problematic in developing a reason or cure. Many doctors will simply refer the patient to a dentist who can make a mouth guard that will prevent damage to the teeth when sleeping and, hopefully, cushion the jaw muscles from the tension that is created when the patient grinds their teeth.
The mystery surrounding the causes for TMJ makes an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan difficult to develop at times. While there are times when surgery to reset the jaw is appropriate, it is usually only an option in very severe cases. The most commonly recommended treatments involve exercises that will serve to not only loosen up the jaw muscles, but also strengthen them to keep the jaw from becoming out of alignment or enflamed. These exercises will usually be combined with a therapy of ice, heat, and ibuprofen, as ibuprofen can act as both a pain reliever and an anti-inflammatory.
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