Suffering from temporomandibular joint syndrome, commonly known as TMJ, causes the patient to wake up with jaw soreness, headaches, and sore muscles when you chew or talk for extended periods of time. TMJ sufferers often do not know the cause of their symptoms right away and it is usually their dentist who identifies the symptoms and makes a correct diagnosis. TMJ can be temporarily relieved by taking over the counter headache medicines and the like, but to truly combat the symptoms, TMJ therapy will be necessary.
TMJ therapy includes several actions that can be taken by the patient, such as avoiding chewy foods, utilizing relaxing techniques that focus on loosening the jaw and its surrounding muscles and using heat on the area to loosen the muscles and lessen discomfort. Most commonly, your dentist will advise the use of a night guard that will prevent the grinding of teeth. These devices, worn while sleeping, stop teeth from gnashing together and help the jaw muscles to remain relaxed. Additionally, your dentist may teach you some exercises that will strengthen the jaw and reduce soreness in the jaw muscles.
While undergoing TMJ therapy it is helpful to keep a log of instances when your pain is at an elevated level. What foods did you eat the day before, are you stressed about something that is causing you worry? By addressing the events in your life that contribute to the appearance of TMJ symptoms, you will be able to take steps to avoid these triggers. Work with your dentist to devise the best therapy plan for you and your symptoms and work on lessening the causes of the grinding and tense jaw in addition to treating the pain symptoms.
TMJ symptoms can be very painful and uncomfortable, and usually do not get better on their own. Confront the issue head-on with a targeted plan of therapy, and you can be feeling better in no time!
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