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  • Emma B

TMJ Disorder: Everything You Need to Know About This Common Condition

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder is a common condition that can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw. It can also lead to other problems, such as pain in the ears, face, neck, and shoulders.

There are many different treatment options for TMJ disorder, but the most important thing is to get a diagnosis from a qualified healthcare provider. Once the cause of the disorder is determined, the best treatment plan can be devised. If you think you may have TMJ disorder, it is important to see a healthcare provider as soon as possible. Keep reading to learn more about this common condition.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of TMJ disorder depend on the severity and cause of the condition. The most common symptom of TMJ is the pain in the jaw and surrounding muscles. Here are some others to be aware of:

- Stiffness in the muscles of the jaw

- Limited movement of the jaw

- Locking of the jaw

- Clicking or popping sound

- Dental issues like wearing teeth down

- Tinnitus (ear ringing)

- Headaches

You may be at a higher risk of this disorder if you have poor posture, suffer from prolonged stress, have joint hypermobility or have female hormones. Oestrogen has been found to have a role in the cause for TMJ disorder.

How can this disorder be treated

Due to the variety of causes, there is a variety of ways to treat them.

Home treatments can mean doing simple things in your everyday life to reduce the symptoms like eating soft foods, using ice and heat compression, avoid chewing gum or tough goods and introducing stress relief methods. You can also take medications that can reduce the pain such as NSAIDS like paracetamol and ibuprofen. Also stronger prescription drugs like muscle relaxations and local anaesthetics; you should always talk to your doctor before taking any new drug.

You may also be recommended trying different therapies. Especially physical therapy such as heat or cooling therapy, acupuncture, tissue mobilisation and stretches. If you believe that your TMJ disorder is due to stress, try some relaxing treatments.

If more serious, surgical options are available. There are Botox treatments available for painful trigger points or chronic teeth grinding. It is always important to talk to your medical professional first for their expert opinion.

TMJ disorder is a common condition that can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of TMJ disorder so that you can seek professional help if you think you may be suffering from it. Some of the most common symptoms include pain in the jaw, headaches, and clicking or popping sounds when opening the mouth. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best to talk to a professional.

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