TMJ or TMD, short for temporomandibular joint disorder, is a condition which involves the jaw joint. It result in pain and discomfort as well as other symptoms. Its effect are not limited to the joint but can also extend to involve surrounding regions such as the head, shoulder, neck , back and even the arms. There are more people suffering from this condition than you think and they are all on the hunt for a cure to end their pain.
If you are a TMJ sufferer, it may become a chronic condition with severe symptoms affecting the jaw and facial muscles. It also affects the ability to properly use the jaw causing locking of the jaw a well as teeth grinding especially at night. Its effects may also include difficult swallowing, earaches and oral pain.
Any patient with TMJ is familiar with the problems the condition causes in a person’s life. Adapting to TMJ is not always easy because of the recurrent attacks of pain and stress which can greatly affect the overall quality of life. Restriction of jaw movement affects various actions one may take for granted such as eating, talking and swallowing and can therefore become a constant nuisance.
There are a variety of treatments available for TMJ however.
Medical treatment in the form of over the counter medications for pain relief, relaxing muscles as well as anti-inflammatory drugs to relief symptoms of inflammation including pain. However, these drugs have their undesirable side-effects.
There is also the option of physiotherapy to alleviate pain, relieve muscle spasms and correct jaw alignment. Both cold and heat therapy may be used. Reducing stress levels and avoiding stressors along with various relaxation techniques are greatly beneficial.
Dental management of any possible underlying causes such as misaligned teeth may require correction. A biteplate may also be prescribed by your dentists to improve alignment and to prevent teeth grinding, especially at night.
Surgery is usually kept as a last resort after all other solutions have failed. It is a drastic measure and should be thought out carefully, beforehand. Endoscopic or open procedures may be used for treatment.
There is also the option of natural remedies as and alternative to traditional TMJ treatments. The greatest benefit of natural remedies of course is the absence of side effects associated with medications and surgeries.
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