Sometimes problems may occur in the jaw joints, temporomandibular joints (TMJ) and surrounding muscles, causing joint pain, limited opening, muscle aches and joint noises or clicking. Some of the most common causes of TMD are chronic muscle tension associated with clenching or gnashing of teeth, and habits such as gum chewing or stressed jaw posture at work or during sleep. Neck and shoulder muscle tension and headaches or tooth pain may also be a contributor by the referring pain and tightness to the jaws and face. If you have experienced any of the above concerns, talk to us about our splint appliance as a non-surgical, non-evasive treatment option.
Treatment helps rest the muscles and joints, and helps relieve symptoms and restore function. But TMD symptoms may return over time. You can avoid future problems by maintaining the health of your jaw.
• Avoid foods and habits that make your symptoms worse.
• Choose soft foods, avoid biting into hard foods and grind or finely chop meats and other tough foods.
• Lower the stress level in your life.
• Follow your treatment plan.
• Pay attention to your body and get help if symptoms recur.
• Using ice may help to reduce swelling and pain and using heat may help muscles relax, increasing blood flow.
• Use a gel pack or ice wrapped in a towel for swelling or severe pain. Apply for 10-20 minutes, and repeat as needed.
• Use moist heat for mild to moderate muscle pain. Apply a moist, hot towel to the muscles for 10-20 minutes, and repeat as needed.