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If you have pain in your jaw, chronic headaches, and trouble opening and closing your mouth, you might have TMJ. Visiting your dentist and a physiotherapy clinic can help with the pain and it’s important that you treat jaw issues before they get worse.

What Is TMJ (Jaw Pain) And How Can You Manage It?

What is TMJ?

TMJ, also knowns as TMD, is an ailment that affects the temporomandibular joints. These joints are found on each side of the head and work in tandem with the muscles, ligaments, discs and bones that allow us to chew, speak, laugh and yawn.

What causes TMJ?

Usually, TMJ occurs in people (mostly women) between the ages of 20-40. There are numerous causes of TMJ such as clenching or grinding your teeth; sustaining an injury to your neck, head and jaw; osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis; and stress.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of TMJ are difficulty chewing, speaking or opening your mouth.You may also experience the locking of your jaw and notice clicking, popping or grating noises when you open and close your mouth. In addition, you may feel dizzy or have a neck or head-ache and notice swelling on the sides of your face. TMJ can also feel like a toothache and contribute to hearing loss. When you visit a physiotherapy clinic and your dentist, tell them the exact symptoms you are having so that they can plan treatment accordingly.

How can you manage TMJ?

There are many ways to manage TMJ but it’s important to only do what your dentist and specialist at the physiotherapy clinic recommend. Treatment options include wearing a night guard to sleep (this will also protect your teeth enamel), using a TENS machine to stimulate nerves, acupuncture, physical therapy, and face and neck massages. Surgery should be a last resort as most people are able to manage TMJ by regularly visiting a physiotherapy clinic and wearing a night guard. You can also eat soft foods as long as you make sure you are getting enough nutrients and maintaining a healthy diet. Soups and stews are good but avoid drinking only protein shakes for every meal.

If left untreated, TMJ can lead to more severe health problems like chronic headaches, hearing problems and bad oral health. Contact our physiotherapy clinic today. We can help you manage jaw pain so you can eat, chew and laugh without discomfort.

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