TMJ in Chevy Chase, MD
Does your jaw make popping sounds when you open your mouth? If so, these are some common symptoms of TMJ disorder. This jaw joint and muscular disorder affects over 10 million Americans and can make chewing or even talking a chore. If you are suffering from TMJ, or think that you are, you have options. Here are some of the most common and effective TMJ treatments.
Did you know…?
The majority of TMJ treatments can be treated with simple, conservative care? While you may have already tried some of these options, these lifestyle changes and at-home care tips help the majority of patients alleviate their TMJ symptoms:
- Over-the-counter treatments: NSAIDs like ibuprofen and other OTC painkillers can help reduce your muscle discomfort and swelling.
- Hot/cold therapy: Using an ice pack for about 10 minutes at a time several times a day can help reduce swelling and pain. Follow up your ice therapy with a warm compress for about five minutes.
- Change your diet: Stay away from hard and crunchy foods that can be rough on your jaws and opt instead for a softer diet. Cut your food into smaller pieces, so you don’t have to open so wide.
- Avoid certain motions: Crunching on ice or gum can cause you to open your jaws too wide, which can inflict more pain. Therefore, it’s important to stay away from habits such as yawning that could exacerbate your symptoms.
- Alleviate stress: It might sound funny, but being able to truly relax is an art form. Learn how to loosen your jaw muscles by practicing deep breathing and other relaxation techniques that could reduce your stress and help improve your TMJ symptoms.
Other TMJ Treatments
There are some cases in which these at-home techniques just don’t cut it. When this happens, our Chevy Chase, MD, dental team relies on a few different treatment options to help:
- Prescription medications: If over-the-counter pain relievers aren’t reducing your pain and swelling, then it might be time to see if a higher dose of medication could help relax your muscles and alleviate your symptoms. Sometimes muscle relaxants and even anti-depressants can help.
- Night guard: If you find that you clench or grind your teeth while you sleep, then our dental team can create a custom night guard. Night guards are plastic appliances that go over the upper and lower teeth to correct your bite and lessen grinding.
- Splint: For those with daily teeth grinding habits, a splint is better suited for you. A splint and a mouth guard serve the same purpose; however, a splint is worn during the day rather than at night.
If you are dealing with jaw pain and discomfort due to TMJ disorder, you must turn to our dental team for care.
Call Chevy Chase Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry at (301) 652-9717 to schedule an appointment with us!