TMJ Pain and Tips for Relief

Temporomandibular joints, or TMJs, are large, three-pronged nerves that traverse either side of your face and jaw. Among their many responsibilities, TMJs help control the movement of your lower jaw, and account for the majority of sensory information to your brain. It might not surprise you, then, to know that when these joints are disturbed, the discomfort can be serious, often debilitating, and can range from trouble opening your mouth to frequent, severe headaches. Permanently treating TMJ disorder begins first with a comprehensive examination and diagnosis at our Farmington Hills dentist’s office, but you may find temporary TMJ pain relief with a few tips from Dr. Askari.

Is it TMJ Disorder?

The trouble with TMJ disorder (which is actually a blanket term that could indicate any of a number of different jaw issues) is that its symptoms aren’t definitive. Headaches, jaw pain, sensitive teeth, and its other symptoms could also be signs of a variety of other issues. If your jaw pain is accompanied by one or more of these conditions, however, then TMJ disorder may be a likely problem:

  • Popping/clicking noises in your jaw’s joints
  • Recurring migraines
  • Sore, painful muscles in your jaw and face
  • A tendency to clench and grind your teeth (bruxism)

How to Ease the Aches

In many cases, TMJ disorder occurs because of strained, stressed, and overly-tense jaw joints and muscles, hence the common difficulty with movement. If you’re struck suddenly with TMJ pain in your jaw or face, these remedies might help you find temporary relief until you can reach our office for a more thorough assessment and treatment:

  • Put the heat on—placing a hot towel, heating pad, or hot-water bottle on one or both sides of your face can help your jaw’s muscles relax, easing tension and discomfort.
  • Alternate with ice—while heat relaxes muscles, coldness helps with pain relief; alternate the heating pad with an ice pad for optimal results.
  • Light massage—your TMJs are located just in front of each ear; rubbing and massaging them lightly with your fingertips can help relieve tension headaches, as well as improve your jaw’s movement.

    To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with one of the experts at the Comfort Dental Group, then contact us today by calling our office at (248) 474-6434. We welcome patients living in and around Farmington Hills, Livonia, Novi, Northville, Westland, and Dearborn Heights, MI.

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