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What is TMJ? “Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders, commonly called “TMJ,” are a group of conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement,” an article on the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research states.

What are the symptoms of TMJ? According to the Mayo Clinic, there are six symptoms that signal TMJ issues. These are:

  • Clicking, popping or a grating sound when a person opens their mouth and/or chews
  • Pain and/or tenderness of the jaw
  • Aching and pain in or around the ear
  • Difficulty or discomfort when chewing
  • Ache in the cheeks or other areas of the face
  • Jaw locking, making it hard to open or close the mouth

What can cause the symptoms of TMJ? As medicine.net states, the causes are not well understood, but there are multiple factors that may lead to the symptoms. These include, but are not limited to:

  • misalignment or damage to the jaw
  • grinding teeth
  • poor posture
  • stress and/or anxiety
  • arthritis and other muscular disorders

How is TMJ treated? There are several home and some traditional ways to treat this disorder. Webmd says some of these are:

  • Taking over-the-counter medications, such as Advil to assist in reducing inflammation
  • Using heat and/or cold; sometimes offsetting these work better than using only one or the other
  • Eating soft foods that are easy to chew
  • Do not move jaw abruptly-avoid anything that might cause you to open your jaw wide
  • Practice  good posture such not resting your chin in your hand
  • Use of a splint or night guard to keep from grinding the teeth
  • If the none of the above treatments help, contact a Neuromuslarly trained dentist

 

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