Treatment of dental TMJ
TMJ, also referred to as temporomandibular joint disorder, cases soreness in the joint of the jaw. This condition can also cause dysfunction in the muscles that surround the jaw. This is why the condition is sometimes referred to as lock jaw. Patients find that once they fully open their mouth that it is difficult and painful to close.
TMJ affects many people, in fact there are about 10 million Americans a year that suffer from TMJ. The disorder effect's men as well as women, however only about 10% of TMJ patients are men. The other 90% of TMJ sufferers are women between the ages of 18 and 45.
TMJ can affect the ability to chew as well as the ability to breathe. Many people experience pain in areas other than the Jaw. These areas include the neck, ear and throat. TMJ has even been linked to migraines.
If you think you have TMJ you can speak with your doctor about it, you can also speak with your dentist about it. They will be able to do some tests to determine whether or not you have TMJ. In some cases you doctor or dentist may refer you to an ear nose and throat doctor for treatment and in other cases you will be referred to an oral surgeon.
If you have been diagnosed with TMJ there are a few things that you can do to help relieve the pain associated with it. You can try an anti-inflammatory pain killer. You could also try warm compresses on the areas that are affected.
Home Remedies for TMJ
There are also some home remedies that you might try. Some people claim that flax seed can help with TMJ. You can buy flax seed in your local grocery store, or in a health food store. You might also try a night guard to prevent you from grinding your teeth.
If you have TMJ and you have not seen an orthodontist, it might be a good idea to do so. In many cases TMJ can be corrected with orthodontics. If you have a severe malocclusion (misalignment of the jaw) then that could be the cause of your TMJ. An orthodontist will be able to better assess your case.
There are several things that you should avoid doing if you do have TMJ, for example Temporomandibular joint disorder patients should avoid painting a ceiling or looking up for a long period of time. This means that it is probably best that you don't sit in the front row of the movie theater as well. Being in a position where your head is turned at a 90 degree angle or where your chin is pointing directly up in the air can make the symptoms of TMJ worse.
If you have TMJ you need to maintain proper posture and body alignment. If you work in an office sitting down it is important that you check your body alignment throughout the day. Walking on high heels has been known to trigger pain and discomfort in TMJ patients as well. Don't slouch and avoid carrying a heavy bag or a child on your back.
Your doctor will have some more ideas for you on how to avoid the pain associated with TMJ. He or she will also be able to tell you if you are a good candidate for oral surgery. If you are they will be able to give you a referral to a well trusted oral surgeon. Remember to share your fears and concerns with your doctor and if you have questions you should write them down so that you will remember to discuss them with your doctor at your next visit.
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