Do you suffer from tension headaches, neck pain, or jaw discomfort? If so, you may be one of the millions of Americans who experience symptoms associated with TMJ disorder. While there is no one-size-fits-all cure for this condition, following some simple tips can help to prevent its onset or lessen its severity.
What Is TMJ?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. This is the hinge that connects your lower jaw to your skull. If this joint is not functioning correctly, it can lead to a host of problems, including pain in the jaw, neck, and head. You may also experience clicking or popping sounds when you open your mouth and difficulty chewing or swallowing. In some cases, TMJ disorder can even cause dizziness or ear pain.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
There is no single cause of TMJ disorder. Sometimes, it may be due to an injury or misalignment in the jaw. Other times, it may result from teeth grinding (bruxism) or stress. It is also thought that this disorder may result from a combination of these factors or genetics.
How to Avoid TMJ Disorder
You can do several things to prevent TMJ disorder or minimize your risk of developing the condition.
- Avoid grinding your teeth by consciously making an effort not to clench your jaw during the day.
- You can also try stress-relieving techniques such as yoga or meditation to help you relax your jaw more.
- Straighten your posture to take the pressure off of your jaw.
- If you have to chew for long periods of time (such as when you’re eating tough meat), take breaks so that you’re not putting constant strain on your jaw.
- Wear a mouthguard at night if you grind your teeth while sleeping.
- Specific jaw exercises can also help relieve pain and tension in your jaw.
Many custom-fitted mouth devices can help position your teeth correctly and relieve stress on your jaw. However, in some cases, TMJ disorder can be caused by genetic misalignment in the jaw, which requires more in-depth treatment.
If you’re experiencing pain in your jaw and think you may have TMJ disorder, it’s vital to receive a proper diagnosis to treat the condition.
Dr. Firouzi dedicates himself to providing excellent cosmetic and neuromuscular dentistry services to his patients in the Pittsburgh area. His team provides a wide variety of services, including TMJ treatment.
TMJ disorder is a complex condition, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Dr. Firouzi will work with you to develop a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. To receive TMJ treatment now, contact us at (412) 274- 1126.