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5 self-care tips for dealing with TMD

Do you suffer from clicking jaws or pain when you bite or chew? Do you often suffer sporadic ear pain that seems to come out of know where? Maybe you are experiencing a sore jaw or suffering from migraines and headaches. If you answered yes to any of the above, this could indicate a problem with the joint in your jaw.

Your jaw is one of the most complex joints in your body and moves in a range of directions such as up-and-down, side-to-side, and forward-and-backwards. There are several muscles that connect your jaw to your skull that help you chew, swallow, breath and talk. The small disc known as thetemporomandibular joint (TMJ), acts as a cushion/shock absorber between the bones. Heightened stress on these areas may make these everyday movements a painful experience. When this pain occurs you may be experiencing what is known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

Symptoms of TMD

There are a variety of symptoms associated with TMD such as:

  • Biting or chewing difficulty or discomfort
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sound when opening or closing the mouth
  • Dull, aching pain in the face
  • Earache
  • Headache
  • Jaw pain or tenderness of the jaw
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Difficulty opening or closing the mouth

How do you know if you have TMD?

As there are a variety of other health conditions associated with TMJ symptoms it can often be difficult to self-diagnose your symptoms. A professional examination here at Dr Danny Lamm Dental Practice in Malvern East can determine whether you are suffering from TMJ disorder and can prescribe the best treatment to relieve your pain.

What you can do to avoid TMD disorder

Check your posture. Try your best to sit up straight as slumping, hunching can lead to imbalances that put stress on the muscles of your back, shoulders, neck, face, and jaw. Sitting at a desk for an extended amount of time or driving can cause unnecessary pressure. Try this technique: imagine a thread lifting the back of your head up and letting your chin lower slightly.

Unclench. Stress can make us grit our teeth together and hold our whole face in a tense, tight mask. Relax, stretch a bit, and let your jaw sit naturally so that your teeth do not touch together.

Soothe. Use your fingertips to slowly but firmly stroke the area that’s giving you the most pain. Apply heat or ice. You can also relieve jaw stress by giving a weary jaw some rest by eating softer foods for a while.

Strengthen. In some cases, TMD may be triggered by weaknesses in different muscle groups such as the neck and back. Try some simple back and neck strengthening exercises and regular physical activity as it can make it easier to relax and to handle stress better.

Seek professional advice and treatment. If your attempts at self-care do not lead to some relief, here at Dr Danny Lamm Dental Practice in Malvern East we can help you. Thankfully, there are various relaxation treatments we can use to relax the TMJ joint back to its natural function. Dr Lamm is experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorders to help aid in a fast recovery.

If you are suffering from any of the TMJD symptoms please don’t hesitate to contact us for a professional examination.

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