A TMJ disorder is a condition in which the two joints that connect the jawbone to the skull, ache as a result of injury, displacement or damage. This joint is called temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. Patients suffering from TMJ, experience a mild to sharp pain in the joint and have difficulties in opening up their mouths or even eating. Clenching and grinding of teeth are two of the major causes of TMJ pain.
However, this is not an irreversible condition, and with proper treatment, one may be able to cure TMJ pain permanently. For starters, you must stop any habits of teeth grinding or clenching, and anything that puts pressure on the joint. You must also start living on a soft diet, to spare your teeth from putting in too much pressure to bite on something, as this directly puts pressure on the TMJ.
Having said that, the following are how TMJ could be permanently cured:
Custom-made splints are made to be fitted over your lower or upper teeth. These splints act like a cushion between your teeth and prevent you from clenching or grinding your teeth. This puts enough rest on the temporomandibular joint and helps it recover without much hindrance.
Once the pain subsides, do not stop using the splints immediately. Use it for two or three more days to help the joint completely recover. To prevent tension on the recovered joint, live on a soft diet for a few more days before returning to your regular routines!
Physical therapy involves appropriate exercises for the joint. Exercises like chin tucks, tongue up, forward jaw movement and resisted closing are few of the exercises that help immensely. To know which exercises are best for TMJ pain relief, read this article by Healthline.
As per a study conducted by Haketa et al. (2010), TMJ exercises help in mouth opening range and pain relief. “Of the various conservative treatment modalities available for temporomandibular disorders, therapeutic exercise has a good prognosis, especially for anterior disc displacement without reduction… therapeutic exercise brings earlier recovery of jaw function compared with splints.”
Apart from this, acupuncture and other massage forms are also effective in curing TMJ disorders. It is advised that you consult with a physiotherapist before you try any of the mentioned exercises. Remember that doing them wrong would only make matters worse, and this is why you need professional supervision.
This is the last resort, which is not recommended by many medical experts either. The surgery for TMJ is called arthroscopy and involves positioning the TMJ properly and performing any other activity that would eliminate any underlying internal problem with the joint.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
This involves low-voltage electric shocks to cure pain. Modes of current are placed in the inflamed area and electric currents are passed through the nerves to cure the pain. Read more to find out how the process works.
TMJ pain is not something that you should be overlooked since it could result in something barely irreversible if left untreated. You must do everything you can to properly rest your joints enough until the pain subsides.