September 21, 2018
Did you know that your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the most complicated joint in your body? It’s the only bilateral joint, so it has to simultaneously function on the left and right side. If both sides aren’t working in perfect harmony, it can result in temporomandibular disorder (TMD), which includes symptoms like headaches, stiffness, popping or even “lockjaw.” Anyone who has ever experienced these symptoms will tell you that they can really impact your quality of life. Fortunately, there are effective solutions, including non-surgical TMJ therapy in Ponoma as well as exercises at home. For many patients, combining multiple forms of therapy like this leads to the best pain relief. Learn more below!
What Can You Do at Home To Reduce the Symptoms of TMD?
Here are some easy steps to take at home to manage the symptom of this disorder:
- Relaxation exercises – Stress and anxiety are often a factor in TMJ pain, so any type of relaxation exercises are helpful. These could include deep breathing, walking, yoga, meditation or even reading a good book.
- Temperature therapy – Applying a warm compress to the area for 20 minutes at a time can also help. In some cases, alternating warm and cold is even better.
- Massage – You can either use gentle self-massage or get a professional massage specifically for TMD to relax your jaw muscles.
- Strengthening and stretching exercises – You can find many exercises online that will strengthen or stretch the muscles around your TMJ, but it’s a good idea to talk with a dentist first to make sure they’ll be helpful for you specifically. Also, strengthening exercises are usually the most effective in between painful TMJ episodes (when you’re not actively in pain), while stretching exercises are more effective during a flare-up.
How Can Non-Surgical TMJ Therapy Help?
In addition to taking the steps above to manage the symptoms of TMD, it’s also important to address the root cause. In many cases, poor occlusion is involved (i.e. the way the teeth fit together when chewing or when the jaw closes).
Fortunately, it’s easier to improve the occlusion than you might think, using non-surgical TMJ therapy. The first step is having a dentist in Rockland County evaluate your teeth and jaws to determine the proper bite alignment that will improve your TMJ.
Next, this information is used to make a custom-made oral appliance that improves your bite and the way your TMJ functions. Another possibility is adjusting the back teeth with white composite filling material to improve the occlusion and reduce stress and pressure on the joint.
TMD can make it difficult to eat, laugh or even smile. But with the right treatment, it doesn’t have to!
About the Author
Dr. Frances Tang is an award-winning general, cosmetic and restorative dentist who also has a professional background in electrical engineering. With an exacting eye for detail and a thorough understanding of how occlusion affects the TMJ, she’s able to provide outstanding relief for her patients suffering from TMD. If you have any additional questions, she can be reached via her website or at (845) 364-0400.
No comments yet.
RSS feed for comments on this post.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.