Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain is a common complaint, usually caused by some kind of tension in the jaw muscles. Treatments will vary depending on the severity of the pain. Here are three ways to treat TMJ pain.
1. Medical Procedures
If your TMJ pain is acutely painful or won’t go away, you should contact a dentist for help treating it. If you need help finding a qualified professional, a simple internet search such as TMJ treatment Broomfield CO should help you narrow down your options. A dentist should be able to determine whether you would benefit from more targeted treatments, sometimes invasive, treatments, such as corticosteroid injections or surgery on the jaw or the TMJ joint. These methods will typically only be used after other, less invasive therapies have failed.
2. Physical Therapies
There are several lifestyle modifications and physical treatments you can use to relieve TMJ pain. A common cause is bruxism, which can be treated with a mouthguard or oral splint. You can also apply warm and cold compresses to your jaw to ease tension and bring down swelling, practice relaxation techniques like meditation or learn various jaw stretching and massage techniques.
For mild, transient cases of TMJ pain, you can usually take over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen. If the pain persists, your doctor or dentist may give you a prescription-strength pain reliever, such as naproxen sodium, or prescribe a muscle relaxer to help ease acute tension around your jaw. In most cases, the TMJ pain will dissipate after you take this medication or by the time you finish the prescription. For moderate pain, it’s a good idea to use medications in conjunction with physical therapies.
In some cases, TMJ pain will just be a mild annoyance, but in others, it can be debilitating. It’s important to consult a medical or dental professional when you notice TMJ pain, even if it isn’t that bad, to prevent the issue from worsening.