Has your jaw been sore lately? Do you notice other symptoms too, including difficulty performing oral functions, earaches, headaches, or a clicking sound in the jaw? These issues could point to temporomandibular joint disorders, also known as TMJ.
This condition in the jaw joint stems from tension in the jaw muscles that create structural damage in this area of the mouth. You will need intervention from a dentist to stop it, and the disorder will worsen if you ignore it.
Read on to find three treatments that your dentist might suggest to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms stemming from TMJ.
How Can I Alleviate TMJ?
Reduce Your Stress Levels
In many cases, the tension in the jaw stems from heightened levels of stress in the dental patient. If you can reduce the amount of stress you feel then, you can alleviate chronic jaw pain and other TMJ symptoms.
Feeling less stressed is easier said than done, though. But your dentist can offer advice to reduce these feelings of stress. You can do deep breathing exercises to lower the amount of tension held in the body.
They can also suggest stretches for your facial muscles that will loosen tense muscles in the jaw, relieving many TMJ concerns. Schedule a consult with your dentist to learn if these activities can treat your TMJ.
Wear a Night Guard
If you have a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth, the pressure generated from this action can create tension that leads to TMJ. Many patients do not realize they grind their teeth because it occurs unconsciously and often as they sleep at night.
Dentists may build a customized night guard for these patients to wear as they sleep. This oral appliance will cushion the teeth against the pressure of overnight clenching and grinding.
The night guard can also keep the jaw aligned in a position so that the muscles can feel at rest during sleep. This will reduce the tension in the jaw and alleviate TMJ symptoms.
Amend Bite Problems
If you have crooked teeth or a misalignment in your jaw, you might not be able to close your mouth properly. This could mean that when you bite or chew, you distribute uneven pressure throughout your teeth and the rest of your mouth.
These bite problems may lead to jaw tension and ultimately to TMJ. Your dentist can straighten misaligned teeth using ClearCorrect which can stop this uneven pressure on the jaw. More severe malocclusions may need treatment from an orthodontist.
With a straighter smile, you can see improvement in your bite and therefore your jaw. Habits like teeth grinding and clenching will not interfere with your teeth straightening treatment. In many cases, amending bite problems will also stop this behavior.
Wear ClearCorrect aligners as instructed by your dentist for custom cosmetic enhancement that will also treat jaw concerns. Contact the dentist if any issues occur with your aligners so that you can see the best results from this treatment.