Monday, 17 February 2014

TMJ Disorder: Treatment and Aftercare

Most people have never heard of Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle (TMJ) disorder. The unfortunates, who learned about it through injury, or as the result of a gradual onset, know how painful it can be, and that is quite enough.

What is the Temporomandibular Joint?

TMJ Disorder The temporomandibular joint connects your jaw to your skull. This joint, hidden in the ear, enables you to yawn, laugh, speak, chew and pry food from between your teeth with your tongue.

What is TMJ?
TMJ occurs when the muscles surrounding your temporomandibular joint contract, leading to limited mobility of your lower jaw. The condition has been known to cause excruciating migraines, as the head and neck muscles controlled by the joint contract in turn, restricting blood flow to the brain.

How is TMJ Treated?
Using ultra low frequency electric currents, dentists will stimulate the joint. This increases blood flow to the brain and encourages the muscles surrounding the joint to relax. This facilitates the release of endorphins. Endorphins are natural painkillers.

Dentists fit a tool to the jaw which allows them to monitor your bite and make adjustments as needed. As your upper and lower jaw muscles come into alignment, the pressure is more evenly distributed, decreasing pain and increasing mobility.

Typically, the condition is so painful that the patient is restricted to a soft diet. Such restrictions will aid in the healing process. Avoid foods that would require you to take large bites. Apply a warm, moist compress to either side of the face in ten minute intervals as needed to loosen the muscles surrounding the joint and to improve mobility. Opening and closing the jaw slowly will improve elasticity in the jaw, just like warming up before a workout.