Maybe you've heard of TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint. The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. It works with your jaw muscles combining a hinge action with sliding motions to allow you to open and close your mouth, speak, and chew. The parts of the bones that interact in the joint are covered with cartilage and are separated by a small shock-absorbing disk, which normally keeps the movement smooth. But if the disk erodes or moves out of proper alignment, it can become painful. Sometimes, arthritis or trauma can be the culprit of your TMJ disorder. Chronic grinding and clenching can also displace the joint. So how do you know if you might have TMJ disorder? Here are some signs you might suffer from TMJ and some tips on how to alleviate the pain or discomfort you experience.
Symptoms of TMJ:
- Pain/Tenderness in one or both joints
- Pain/ache in or around your ear
- Pain while chewing or difficulty chewing
- Locking of your jaw, or difficulty opening and closing your mouth
- Clicking when opening or closing your mouth
How To Alleviate TMJ Discomfort:
- Over-the-Counter pain relievers/anti-inflammatories
- Muscle relaxers
- Oral splint
- Eat soft foods, cut into small pieces
- Stretching and massaging the joint (click here for examples)
- Avoid chewing gum
Sometimes, symptoms may eliminate themselves without any treatment. Sometimes, they may require treatment from a specialist. If your discomfort persists or worsens, call us at (765)664-0028 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.