According to a report by the NIH, more than 10 million Americans are suffering from TMJ disorders. What does this mean? TMJ disorders (sometimes people just call it TMJ) stands for temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders. Many people do not seek care for this condition as they feel it will eventually go away. Others suffer from extreme and chronic pain. What symptoms identify TMJ disorders?
Five Common TMJ Disorder Symptoms
The temporomandibular joint connects the bottom jaw to the skull. When inflamed or irritated, everyday tasks – such as chewing and talking – can become unbearable. The following symptoms will most likely be present:
- Popping, clicking, or grating noise when one opens and closes the jaw
- Pain radiating to the neck, face, and jaw
- Difficulty opening the jaw wide
- Without reason, the upper and lower teeth seem offset
To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and TMJ download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.
TMJ often robs one of the joys of eating such things as massive burgers, large deli sandwiches, and other foods that require the mouth to be opened wide or need lots of chewing. Are there any home remedies that can help this pain? If these home remedies fail, what should you try next?
Caring for TMJ Pain at Home
Before using medication to numb the pain, try one of these ways to reduce jaw pain:
- Don’t open the mouth too wide. Try resting the jaw for a few days and avoid things like chewing gum.
- Gently stretch the jaw muscles. Gradually increase your range of motion.
- Eat a diet of soft foods for a few days. For example, at breakfast try scrambled eggs instead of a chewy bagel.
- Ice the jaw. This can reduce swelling and pain.
- Reduce stress. Stress can cause jaw muscles to tighten and hurt. Using stress reducing methods can help ease the pain.
Taking TMJ Relief a Step Further
If the above suggestions do not bring about the hoped-for relief, it may be time to seek the professional care of an upper cervical chiropractor. Here at Read Health Center, we can correct any misalignment found in the bones of the upper neck that may be causing the jaw to hurt. This might be all that is needed to reduce TMJ pain.
To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Read call our Ames office at 515-233-8880 or simply click the button below.
if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.