Temporomandibular disorders or TMDs are conditions concerning the muscles in your face and the joint that controls your jaw. These issues can be painful and unpleasant. Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) gives motion to your mandible or jawbone and links your jaw to the temporal bones in your skull. It is responsible for the jaw movement that enables you to chew, talk, yawn, and swallow.
Any issues that negatively impact your TMJ should be checked out by Dr. Nicholas Papapetros, Dr. Jessica Ristuccia, or Dr. Arietta Rigopoulos here at Great Meadows Dental Group in Bedford, MA, to avoid further complications. Meanwhile, here’s what you should know about treating TMJ disorders.
Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
The pain and discomfort that TMD frequently comes with maybe brief or persist for many years. It can have an effect on one or two sides of your face. Symptoms you may experience include:
- Pain in the jaw joint area
- Aching in or around your ear
- Discomfort in the neck and shoulders
- Pain or aching in the face
- Trouble with opening your mouth widely
- Popping or clicking sounds in your jaw joint whenever you chew, or open and close your mouth (can be with or without pain)
- Difficulty or pain while chewing
- Swelling in one or both sides of your face
Treatment Solutions for TMJ Disorders
In some instances, TMJ disorders can go away on their own. However, if the pain and discomfort seem to persist, there’s a variety of treatment options your dentist in Bedford, MA, may advise to help alleviate your TMJ symptoms.
- Over-the-counter drugs. You can take pain relievers and anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or naproxen to help with muscle pain and swelling.
- Consume soft foods. Eat foods like soup, fish, grains, or any type of food that requires minimal effort to chew. Avoid foods that are large, crunchy, or hard.
- Apply moist heat or cold packs. Applying a cold compress for at least 15 minutes could lessen inflammation and likewise aid in alleviating pain. Moist heat from a heat pack could also help with pain and improve function.
- Refrain from excessive jaw movements. Resist movements that involve opening your mouth widely such as yelling, singing, yawning, or chewing tough or large foods.
- Relaxation techniques. Learning relaxation methods can work to reduce stress and tension in your jaw. Additionally, your dentist may also recommend that you seek counseling or therapy to manage stress.
- Custom splint or night guard. These dental appliances are worn over the upper and lower teeth to minimize the harmful effects of grinding or clenching. They can also work to improve your bite.
- Higher doses of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be prescribed by your dentist to treat the pain and inflammation. A muscle relaxant is also an option to ease jaw tension or an anti-anxiety drug for stress relief.
- Dental work. Your dentist can offer orthodontic treatment to correct an improper bite that may be contributing to your pain.
For Help Treating Your TMJ Disorder, Contact Us
Arrange a consultation here at Great Meadows Dental Group in Bedford, MA, with Dr. Nicholas Papapetros, Dr. Jessica Ristuccia, or Dr. Arietta Rigopoulos, by dialing (781) 275-7707.