TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. This joint can be the source of pain for many people.
It is unknown why exactly TMJ pain occurs, but there are a few possible causes. Injury to the jaw, joint, or even muscles of your head and neck, possibly from a car accident, can be the reason for TMJ pain. Other sources of TMJ pain include grinding or clenching your teeth, movement of the soft cushion or disc that sits between the ball and socket of the joint, and TMJ arthritis. One cause of pain that many don’t consider is stress. Stress can cause you to clench/grind your teeth and tighten your facial and jaw muscles.
You should consider contacting us about TMJ therapy if you suspect you are suffering from TMJ pain. You might be experiencing a number of uncomfortable symptoms that typically surround opening or closing the mouth. The issues surrounding opening and closing the mouth include jaws getting stuck or locked up while attempting to open or close the mouth, various sounds such as grating, clicking, or popping can occur when moving the mouth or chewing, and chewing or biting may be difficult. You can also experience pain or tenderness on the affected side/sides, swelling, and a tired feeling in your face.
Therapy for TMJ is very beneficial for treatment of pain. Stretching is one option. It will improve the flexibility of your mouth and actually increase physical function making it so you can open the mouth wider and close it without your jaw getting stuck in one position. Physical therapy can target specific trigger points, muscles, and joints to better your condition and reduce discomfort. Physical therapy actually restores muscle strength and function through various exercises.
Be sure to take care of your teeth between cleanings. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Don’t skip flossing!! Flossing is an important step to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Also, use a mouthwash to help control bacteria that could lead to plaque and tarter meanwhile keeping your breath fresh!