People all over the country suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder, but many fail to seek TMJ treatment. Far from being a minor nuisance, this condition can be easily aggravated by many daily activities and can cause multiple complications if left untreated. Here are just a few consequences of ignoring symptoms of this disorder and allowing…
What to Do if You Think You Have TMJ
TMJ disorders are quite common. While some cases are milder than others, the symptoms are generally the same, just on different scales. With that being said, most TMJ disorders start out the same, with symptoms of soreness, locking, and clicking, all of which should be given immediate attention. Keep reading to find out more about what to do when a TMJ disorder is suspected.
Steps to take if TMJ disorder warning signs present themselves
Outlined below are a few important things to do when any signs of TMJ disorders are noticed. Review the following information to find out more!
1. Get a temporary night guard from the store
One of the first things to do when a TMJ disorder is suspected is to get a temporary mouthguard and/or night guard. Mouthguards can be quite helpful in keeping the upper and lower arch of teeth from clenching or grinding against one another. Both of these actions can be caused when the temporomandibular joint malfunctions.
Long-term, the dentist may custom-create a mouthguard for day and/or night use. However, this can take a few weeks due to the need for customization. While waiting, it can be helpful to get a temporary one from the store.
2. Avoid foods that require a strong bite force
When there is a concern that a TMJ disorder is present, it is highly recommended to avoid foods that require extra chewing and biting. These actions can result in stress on the temporomandibular joint, which can heighten certain symptoms, ultimately leading to the disorder becoming worse.
Foods to avoid are jerky, tough meats, taffy-like candies, and gum. Instead, dentists recommend soft foods that do not require a lot of chewing. Smoothies, steamed vegetables, soft fruit, and soups are a great option until the TMJ disorder can be addressed.
3. Take an anti-inflammatory medication
When any signs of a TMJ disorder are present, it is recommended to take an anti-inflammatory medication. Anti-inflammatory medications can be bought at the store, over the counter. They are known to provide relief for some of the symptoms of TMJ disorders. While these medications are not a permanent solution, they can be used intermittently to provide relief.
4. Gently massage the jaw and temporomandibular joint
A quick way to relieve discomfort from a TMJ disorder is to gently massage the jaw area and joint, itself. While this solution is not a permanent one, it can be helpful while waiting for an appointment with the dentist. Additionally, massages can have significant effects when it comes to reducing soreness and inflammation.
Schedule an appointment with the dentist
The most important thing to do if and when warning signs of a TMJ disorder present themselves is to schedule an appointment with the dentist. While it may be surprising that dentists are the recommended first point of contact, the fact is that they are actually experts at managing and treating TMJ disorders.
To find out more about TMJ disorders, reach out today. An evaluation can be done to determine what action is needed, and questions or concerns about the symptoms can be addressed appropriately.
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