Symptoms include jaw clicking, cracking and pain. Although these problems may not seem serious, they often indicate a more serious problem.
TMD stands for temporomandibular disorders. TMJ, or temporomanidublar joint syndrome, also falls into this category. They affect the joints of the jaw and cause chronic symptoms.
Read on to find 5 ways to reduce jaw clicking and popping and other TMD symptoms.
Certain classes of medications are appropriate for addressing jaw problems. Anti-inflammatory medications, pain relievers, and muscle relaxants are all viable options.
If these methods provide relief within a few days or weeks, you may not need further treatment. If not, try another method.
2. oral aids
A mouth splint or mouth guard can help keep your jaw in the right position. They keep your teeth apart and reduce grinding and clenching. This can also help reduce jaw pain.
You will need to wear a splint throughout the day, while a night guard is only needed while you sleep. A dentist or orthodontist can tell you which splint to wear and when.
3. stress-relieving techniques and other home remedies.
Excessive stress causes you to tense the muscles in your face and jaw and clench or grind your teeth. This contributes to the symptoms of TMD disorders. Reducing stress through meditation and other relaxation techniques can provide relief.
Other home remedies you can try include:
Placing hot or cold packs on your jaw
Eating softer foods
Avoiding extreme jaw movements
Keeping your teeth apart
Avoid resting your chin on your hand
4. physical therapy
Any form of chronic pain can be relieved with physical therapy, including chronic jaw pain. This makes it an effective treatment method for TMD symptoms.
This physical therapy may include massaging painful joints or performing jaw stretches and relaxation exercises to increase mobility. A physical therapist and orthodontist can work together to decide which exercises will provide the most relief.
5. injections or surgery
Steroid injections are best for TMD symptoms caused by osteoarthritis or other degenerative conditions. They can bring relief from jaw pain within a week.
There are several types of surgery you can undergo.
Arthrocentesis is the least invasive type of TMD surgery. It is an outpatient procedure that uses needles to inject fluid to lubricate your joints and reduce friction.
Arthroscopy is the second least invasive procedure. It involves using an endoscope to look inside your jaw and then removing scar tissue, smoothing bones and/or repositioning discs.
Arthrotomy and arthroplasty are more invasive inpatient procedures. They require an incision to remove lesions and growths or repair discs.
Joint replacements are used only in the most severe cases. This involves replacing part or all of the temporomandibular joint.