When there is persistent and excruciating pain in your face and jaw, it becomes very hard to focus on other tasks at hand. It becomes even more annoying if you are unsure what is causing the pain. For many people who experience facial pain, it could be related to the temporomandibular joint that connects the bones in the jaw. If there are problems with this joint, you could be dealing with symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD).
The joint is very intricate, and consists of a series of ligaments, muscles, bones and discs. When problems occur in this joint, people may feel discomfort and pain when moving the jaw. Read on to find out different types of relief and treatment options for TMD.
Treating TMD at Home
There are many different ways to treat TMD. The first steps you can take are at-home treatments. When you are at home, try to opt for foods that are softer in texture. For example, avoid foods that work the jaw a lot and need big bites like burgers and sandwiches. During this period, try to stock up non-chewy foods to facilitate the healing process and avoid further injury.
You could also go to the pharmacy and purchase anti-inflammatory medicine. This includes naproxen and ibuprofen. To prevent discomfort in the jaw, maintain a good posture and do not rest your chin on your hand. As much as possible, try not to make unnecessary or extreme jaw movements. This means that you may need to avoid chewing gum. Be more careful when you yawn and avoid opening your jaw too wide to sing or yell or for other reasons.
If using moist cold packs or heat packs, leave it on the side of your face for 10 minutes every day. This can help to alleviate the pain in the jaw. Also, learning to relax is important. Stress management techniques can help to reduce tension and loosen your jaw, preventing your condition from getting worse.
If the pain in your jaw doesn’t improve after trying out home methods, or if you are experiencing extreme pain such that you cannot open or close your jaw freely, you should see a doctor. Doctors are able to prescribe medications to help relieve the pain, like anti-inflammatory drugs or muscle relaxants. Certain injections in the joint can alleviate pain, aid healing and provide lubrication. Your doctor may also give you an oral splint or mouth guard. These devices help to hold the jaw in place. Another treatment option that doctors may prescribe is physical therapy, such as stretches or massage techniques to stretch and strengthen the jaw.
The very last resort is surgery. If other less invasive treatment options are still unable to provide pain relief, the doctor may suggest obtaining a consult for surgery.
Head Pain Institute Can Help with TMJ
Do you suffer from TMD but are unsure of what treatment options to seek? Look no further than the Head Pain Institute. We provide different types of treatments for TMD, such as cold laser, therapeutic botox and more. These treatments are administered by a team of professionals who are licensed and certified. Feel free to contact us today to find out more about the different treatment options we provide!