TMJ Flare-Up: Causes & Treatments

TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is an important joint located in the jaw. We utilize the TMJ to eat and speak. When TMJ flare-ups occur, an individual will experience pain and discomfort due to inflammation of the TMJ. This can be incredibly debilitating to an individual’s daily functioning, resulting in a poorer quality of life. If you’re currently suffering from a TMJ flare-up, do not worry. Let’s take a look at the causes, and treatments of TMJ flare-ups to relieve your pain.

Causes of TMJ Flare-Ups

By understanding the causes of TMJ flare-ups, you will be able to avoid triggers and recognize how to treat them. Common causes of TMJ flare-ups include:

  • Erosion in the TMJ or jaw disc: This leads to a lack of proper support.
  • Trauma or injury: This can result in damage to the TMJ and surrounding facial structures.
  • Stress: It can lead to jaw clenching and teeth grinding, causing pressure to build up.
  • Hormone levels: Reduction in natural estrogen levels can cause TMJ flare-ups.
  • Dehydration: Lack of joint lubrication can cause TMJ flare-ups.
  • Posture: Poor posture can result in a misaligned spine and a protruding lower jaw. This causes tension on the TMJ.
  • Chewing tough food: Chewing gum or ice can strain the TMJ and cause inflammation.
  • Vitamin D deficiency: This can contribute to muscle pain.

Treating TMJ Flare-Ups

There are various ways of treating TMJ flare-ups. Let’s first take a look at what you can do by yourself to alleviate symptoms and reduce the risks of TMJ flare-ups from occurring or worsening. These methods are:

  • Apply ice or heat to the affected area to relieve discomfort or pain
  • Perform relaxing techniques, exercises, and massages to relax facial muscles, increase blood flow, and promote healing
  • Over-the-counter pain medications
  • Eat softer food instead of chewy or tough food to avoid overworking your TMJ
  • Stay hydrated

Next, let’s take a look at how a healthcare professional can help to treat TMJ flare-ups:

  • Acupuncture by a licensed acupuncturist to relieve tension and tightness
  • Myofascial massage therapy
  • Physical therapy to relieve tension and pain
  • Orthotic treatment such as using a mouthguard to align the jaw
  • Neuromuscular orthodontics such as cosmetic and restorative services to keep the jaw aligned

Combat TMJ Flare-Ups with Head Pain Institute

If you are currently suffering from undiagnosed, chronic jaw pain, you might be having a TMJ flare-up. Left untreated, TMJ flare-ups can become chronic and debilitating. You deserve a life without pain. It’s time to schedule an appointment so you can receive prompt treatment.

Head Pain Institute provides treatment for TMJ/TMD disorders. Our experts have extensive experience and expertise in treating TMJ. We will examine your jaw in order to diagnose the cause of your pain and treat it so you’ll be freed from pain and discomfort. We will also provide advice to help you permanently keep TMJ flare-ups under control. Contact us today if you have any questions regarding TMJ or would like to start receiving treatment. Let us help you to combat TMJ flare-ups!