TMJ Disorder Treatment
TMJ disorder (TMD) is a group of jaw disorders that can cause headaches, chronic jaw pain, difficulty swallowing, and other symptoms. The disorder is usually associated with stress and inflammation affecting the temporomandibular joint - the joint between your lower jaw and your skull.
Diagnosis of TMJ disorder can be challenging. Common causes include stress, injury, malocclusion or misaligned teeth, arthritis, and genetics. Diagnosis usually requires a thorough examination of the face and jaws, a review of your general health and level of stress, and a diagnosis of contributing conditions such as nighttime teeth grinding or clenching.
When we understand the cause of your symptoms, we can recommend several treatments to help you find relief. Treatments can include anti-inflammatory medication, massage or physical therapy, stretching and exercise, stress reduction, orthodontic treatment of bite and alignment issues, treatment for clenching or grinding, or surgery in severe cases.
Frequently Asked Questions
What factors put me at risk of developing TMJ disorder?
Risk factors for TMJ disorder include arthritis or jaw injury, chronic jaw clenching or grinding, or connective tissue disease. Excessive gum chewing or chewing fingernails can also contribute to symptoms.
What can I do at home to manage my symptoms?
Anything that relieves stress on the jaws and jaw muscles can reduce the discomfort caused by TMJ disorder. A warm or cold compress placed on the jaw, jaw stretches, or a gentle massage can relax the jaw muscles and reduce stress on the joint. Eating a softer diet and avoiding chewy, hard, or sticky foods can help.