Has your jaw been feeling sore lately? Dull, constant pain in the jaw could point to a serious dental problem known as temporomandibular joint disorders or TMJ. TMJ occurs when tension within the muscles around the jaw joint creates inflammation that can impact the function of the jaw and make the area hurt.
Even if you think you can tolerate this discomfort, you should seek help from your dentist to resolve TMJ. The problem will likely worsen without dental intervention, making it difficult to chew, speak, or perform other oral functions.
Treatment for TMJ will vary depending on the specific cause of jaw tension. So do not delay a dental evaluation to diagnose this issue. Read on to learn three ways a dentist might treat TMJ and its accompanying jaw pain.
Stress Relief Activities
Jaw pain stemming from TMJ often occurs due to underlying tension in the muscles near this jaw joint. Tension often develops from lingering stress. You can therefore benefit from measures taken to relieve overall stress.
You can try deep breathing exercises or engage in physical activity that will alleviate stress throughout your body. Your dentist can also suggest targeted stretches in the face that will work to loosen tight muscles in the jaw.
With you and your muscles more relaxed, you can find relief for TMJ symptoms, including persistent jaw soreness. Learn the best way to treat your jaw pain by calling your dentist today.
Custom Oral Appliances
Certain oral habits like teeth grinding and clenching can contribute to tension within that jaw that will cause TMJ and jaw pain. You might not always realize you exhibit these oral behaviors because they can manifest during sleep without your awareness. In these cases, you cannot force yourself to stop to protect your jaw.
But your dentist can help preserve your smile from these harmful habits as you sleep with a custom-made night guard. This mouthguard-like appliance will cushion teeth against the pressure of clenching and grinding. Then the resulting stress and tension will not spread to your jaw joint to give you TMJ symptoms.
The custom build ensures a secure and comfortable fit that will not disrupt your sleep schedule or slip out of place. Contact your dentist to learn if you can benefit from this nighttime protection for your jaw.
Dental Alignment Solutions
Sometimes TMJ and chronic jaw pain can occur due to bite problems. This refers to alignment issues in your teeth and jaw that impede your ability to close your mouth properly when you bite down. A misaligned bite can mean that you distribute uneven pressure across your teeth when performing oral functions.
Then this pressure can lead to tension and TMJ. So to relieve these uncomfortable symptoms, you will need to fix the bite concerns. A dentist can amend minor bite problems with Invisalign.
These clear plastic aligners will gradually shift teeth into a straighter position, closing gaps and making teeth less crooked. This can help the mouth to close without issue, among other oral health benefits. Learn if Invisalign can fix your bite problems by scheduling a dental consultation.