Common TMJ Disorder Treatment Options
TMJ is an abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint. This is actually the joint connecting the temporal bones in the skull to the jaw. TMJ disorder occurs if there are problems with the muscles or jaws in this facial area. Some people have pain in the joint, or difficulties chewing due to muscular difficulties. Once it has been diagnosed, there are a few treatment options.
Make Dietary Changes
In cases of mild TMJ Disorder, simply changing your dietary choices to softer foods can offer some reprieve for the joints and muscles in the affected area. By avoiding foods that are hard to chew, the jaw is allowed to rest and heal. You can eat soft, small foods that are not crunchy. Cutting food into smaller pieces makes it easier on your chewing muscles. But it’s best to eat foods that do not require much chewing at all like mashed potatoes and cottage cheese.
Ice Packs, Moist Heat and Exercise
Sometimes alternating heat and ice packs can help reduce the symptoms associated with TMJ disorder. The dentist can also suggest some exercises to help stretch the muscles out and make them more flexible. He may also suggest you see a physical therapist.
In some cases, a dental professional may use splints to keep your top teeth and bottom teeth from touching each other. A splint will prevent teeth grinding which in turn reduces the strain on the jaw muscles and joints. This allows them to relax, rest and heal.