Sometimes those everyday aches, pains and discomforts are just a normal part of life. However, sometimes they may signal a more serious problem. Chronic jaw pain or popping, which can be a sign of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ), is one of the most annoying discomforts.
TMJ affects the specialized joints in the jaw which are responsible for ease of movement in opening and closing the mouth, eating, talking, yawning and strength.
TMJ is caused by improper jaw alignment which can result in pain and other discomfort. If you suffer from it you are not alone. Over ten million Americans suffer from some form of TMJ. For some people, TMJ is temporary and its symptoms resolve on their own or with basic home care. For others, TMJ can cause chronic pain and needs to be addressed professionally.
What are the symptoms of TMJ?
In addition to jaw pain and stiffness, you may be dizzy, have headaches, neck and shoulder pain, eye discomfort, ringing in your ears, jaw locking and/or other types of pain and numbness.
Sometimes TMJ manifests in the hands and the back. In the most extreme cases, people with TJM can barely move their jaw.
Whether you have a lot of pain or a little cracking, you can start with some basic DIY home care:
•Stretch your jaw, neck and shoulders often
•Apply hot or cold packs
•Avoid hard-to-chew or crunchy foods
•Perform relaxation exercises to help eliminate jaw clenching
We may recommend that you take anti-inflammatory painkillers or prescription medications or wear a mouth guard at night to prevent teeth clenching and grinding. The bottom line is, you don’t need to suffer. We can evaluate your symptoms and suggest the best treatment options for you.