What Are the Multiple Ways to Manage TMJ Disorders Without Surgery?

What Are the Multiple Ways to Manage TMJ Disorders Without Surgery?

February 1, 2023

TMJ disorders or TMD are issues affecting the joint that allows you to open and close your mouth. They lead to limited jaw movement, making it difficult for you to open your mouth. Although surgery may be necessary to treat TMD, you can manage the disorder without it. Read on for ways to manage TMD without surgery from the TMJ specialist near you.

Understanding TMJ Disorders

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the one that connects your lower jaw to your skull. It is located on both sides of your head, just in front of your ears. This joint allows the jaws to open and closing movement. Therefore, it helps you eat, speak, or yawn.

However, the temporomandibular joints can become damaged or diseased, leading to TMJ disorders. TMDs can be caused by jaw injury, arthritis, genetics or bruxism. The diseases can affect anyone, but people with some issues are more prone to them. For example, a posture that strains the neck and facial muscles, stress, and joint hypermobility increase TMD risks.

They result in intense pain in your jaw joints and the muscles that control jaw movement. Other symptoms of TMD include:

  • Tenderness and pain in the joint
  • Facial or neck pain
  • Difficulty moving the joint while speaking or eating
  • Stiffness in the muscles of the jaw
  • Limited movement of the jaw
  • Locking of the jaw joint preventing you from opening or closing your mouth
  • Clicking or popping sounds from the joints
  • Wearing down of teeth
  • Aching pain and ringing in and around the ear
  • Vertigo
  • Headaches
  • Malocclusion or bad bites

Ways to Manage TMD Without Surgery

TMD can be very painful and uncomfortable. Fortunately, you can relieve the pain and discomfort caused by TMDs through self-managed care. Non-surgical treatments are usually recommended before resorting to surgery. Below are some ways to manage disorders of the temporomandibular joints without surgery.

  1. Home remedies

These are self-care practices to ease the symptoms of TMD at home. They include:

  • Maintain the resting position of your jaw by minimizing movements such as yawning, chewing, yelling or singing.
  • Exercise your jaw to increase the joints’ mobility and relieve the pain. Consult a dentist near you to learn about stretching, strengthening and relaxation exercises.
  • Apply cold compresses on the jaws to reduce swelling and pain. Use hot compresses to relax the jaw muscles and increase blood flow.
  • Correct your sitting or standing posture by staying as upright as possible. Doing so and taking frequent breaks reduces the pain in your jaw.
  • Lie on your back while using pillows to support your neck when sleeping. This will ensure you sleep well and minimize TMJ pain and discomfort.
  • Avoid habits that lead to symptoms of TMD. They are clenching or grinding your teeth, resting your jaw in your hand, nail-biting and jaw clenching.
  • Minimize or avoid eating chewy, crunchy or hard foods. Refrain from taking large bites of your food and avoid chewing gum.
  • If you are stressed, try meditation techniques that help relax and loosen your jaw.
  1. Therapies

Specialized physical therapy can help ease the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorders. Visit a TMJ specialist near you to evaluate a suitable treatment. The expert may recommend tissue mobilization, heat therapy, acupuncture, and cooling therapy. Also, they may recommend resistant stretches and provide oral splints or mouth guards.

  1. Medication

TMJ treatment in Virginia also involves the use of medication. You should seek help from a TMJ specialist if home remedies and therapies do not work. Sometimes, the specialist will combine medicine with therapies or home remedies. They will review your health history and check the symptoms to recommend the ideal medication.

The expert may prescribe local anesthetics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxers. They may also recommend corticosteroids and antidepressants if your jaw pain is due to stress. However, the specialist will perform surgery if all these options are ineffective.

Do you need a dentist near you to help manage your TMJ disorders? Then contact us at Chantilly Dental Arts Center. Our TMJ specialists will eliminate your symptoms by addressing their root causes. We will recommend suitable therapies, medication and help you change your lifestyle habits. If necessary, we will perform surgery to treat TMD.