TMJ refers to the Temporomandibular Joints. The joints that connects the lower jaw to the skull. While the abbreviation TMJ refers specifically to these joints, it is commonly used to refer to disorders that are associated with the joints. The disorder is actually called TMD, but since it is more commonly known as TMJ, that is the term we will use here.
People who suffer from TMJ disorders often experience a difficulty in biting or chewing, and possibly a clicking sound while chewing. Other symptoms may include a reduced ability to open the mouth, jaw pain, headaches, and earaches. Many of these symptoms are caused by the effects of physical and emotional stress. Stress can cause a person to clench the jaws and grind the teeth, both during waking hours and while asleep. This clenching and grinding can result in contracted muscles and pinched nerves in the jaw, neck, and head, leading to headaches, toothaches, and earaches.
Prevention methods for TMJ include relaxation techniques to reduce your overall stress level. Avoid chewing gum or eating foods that are difficult to chew. Get plenty of sleep and drink plenty of water everyday. And always try to maintain a good posture, both sitting and standing.
To self-treat your TMJ, try massaging the affected muscles. Gently rub all of the muscles of the face, shoulders, and back of the neck. Press on the muscles to identify painful points. Then massage the painful spots with slow, short strokes. Do this several times a day until the affected muscles are no longer painful when pressed.
With extreme cases of TMJ, mouthguards can be effective at reducing the clenching and grinding while you sleep. This is an option you can discuss with your dentist. There are also some natural exercises that you can do using the jaw, tongue, and throat. These exercises have been known to greatly reduce, and even eliminate altogether, the symptoms of TMJ.
Are You Suffering From TMJ and Looking for Relief?
TMJ Cure – Stop TMJ Pain for Good
There is no reliable cure for TMJ
How A Cosmetic Dentist Identifies TMJ Dysfunction And Possible Treatments
TMJ: a slow healing process
TMJ Cure: What is the Best Solution?
Can TMJ Cause Arthritis?