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TMJ Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

November 30, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — drkics @ 2:31 pm
Woman with jaw pain

Do you have jaw pain? Maybe it’s difficult or uncomfortable to open your mouth? What about throbbing headaches? You could have TMJ disorder, which is a problem that affects the lives of millions of Americans. Also called TMD, this problem can often go undetected or misdiagnosed, which is why TMJ Awareness Month has been established in November! Keep reading to learn about TMJ disorder, the common signs, and how TMJ therapy in Arlington Heights can give you the relief you need.

What Is TMJ Disorder?

TMJ is short for the temporomandibular joint—the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. It functions like a hinge, smoothly moving while avoiding collision with your bones. However, the TMJ joints can become enflamed, eroded, or misaligned, which can be incredibly painful. TMJ disorder is usually caused by injury, overuse, stress, teeth clenching/grinding, and other habits that put stress on the jaw. Women between 20 and 40 are especially susceptible to this disorder. 

How Do You Know If You Have TMJ Disorder?

If you know the common signs of TMJ, you can give yourself some relief. Warning signs of this disorder include:

  • Pain or tenderness in your jaw
  • Difficulty opening and closing your mouth
  • Pain around the ears
  • Tension headaches or migraines
  • Neck/shoulder pain
  • Sore jaw joints
  • Difficulty chewing

Effective TMJ Therapy

Thankfully, these symptoms can be minimized and even eliminated with proper treatment and a little know-how. Your dentist in Arlington heights is a great resource for TMJ therapy. They can create a TMJ splint, also called an oral appliance, which will decrease jaw tension during sleep and also protect your teeth from grinding. This splint positions your jaw in a way that provides relief while keeping you comfortable. You can also try these tips for at-home help with your TMJ disorder:

  • Avoid overworking your jaw by sticking to softer foods and eliminating gum from your diet.
  • Exercise on a daily basis.
  • Gently massage the muscles around your jaw to relieve tension.
  • Implement stress-reducing techniques.
  • Take breaks if you spend a lot of time in the computer or sitting in the same position. Stretching, walking around, and taking breaks from screen time can help reduce your TMJ symptoms.

If you’re suffering from TMJ disorder, are you ready to give yourself some relief? Now that you know more about what it is and how to treat it, you’re more prepared than ever to fight this problem during TMJ Awareness Month and beyond.

About the Practice

At Westgate Dental Care, we have a team of dentists who have been recognized by Expertise as the “Best Dentists in Arlington Heights” for 2019. They treat much more than just problems with teeth, which is why they offer effective TMJ treatment. For any questions, they can be reached through their website or by phone at (847) 577-7171.