Over 10 million Americans endure persistent jaw pain. If the condition affects your quality of life, you should consult a general dentist in Saratoga, CA, since the state may be related to your oral health. The TMJ joint plays a vital role in your life since it affects anything that requires opening your mouth, like eating and talking. Pain in this joint should not be tolerated, especially when solutions to the problem are available. If you experience jaw pain, here is what you can do.
See Your Doctor
The most important thing you ought to do when your jaw hurts is to visit your doctor. Your doctor has the knowledge and information to help you understand your issue. They will evaluate your symptoms to discern the cause of the pain hence recommending a suitable treatment. Before you try anything, it is crucial to be sure about the potential causes of your pain since some severe causes like tumors, bone disease, and chronic headaches require advanced care.
Identify Your Symptoms
If your jaw is painful, it is essential to note down all the symptoms you are experiencing, even as you plan to visit your doctor. Although pain is the primary symptom, you need to evaluate other symptoms you might be experiencing. Note any chronic headaches, ringing in the ear, limitations in jaw movements, jaw locking, jaw muscle stiffness, and neck or shoulder pain. Also, note if your bite is off or feels maligned and identify painful grafting, popping, or clicking when you open or close your mouth.
Understand the Possible Causes of TMJ
There are many reasons why you can experience pain in your TMJ joint. The joint acts like a hinge and is susceptible to injuries. It has cartilages that act as shock absorbers and contain discs that can become damaged through an injury, infection, or arthritis. Although it is unclear how TMJ is connected to other conditions, some people with the disease often have chronic headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome, sleep disorders, low back pain, and other issues.
You can manage TMJ through medications, either over-the-counter drugs or prescription medicines. Consult your doctor before buying medications from local stores or pharmacies. Ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen are common medications you can try for TMJ pain. Read the instructions on the label carefully and ask your doctor for more guidelines about using over-the-counter medicines.
You can also get prescription medications from your doctor when your pain is severe enough, and you need more potent painkillers. Your doctor might recommend anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, and pain medications. Your doctor can also suggest a bite guide to help with your TMJ pain.
Treating TMJ at Home
TMJ pain can be well managed through lifestyle changes and some self-care practices. Ensure you choose foods that are easy to chew to help lessen the pressure in the joint. Incorporate soft fruits, cooked vegetables, stews, soups, eggs, or rice into your menu to improve your TMJ pain. You can also try ice or heat therapy to see which offers you pain relief. Additionally, you can perform some jaw exercises to improve your pain. Consult your provider on the best stretching and relaxing activities to help you with your TMJ pain.
You can learn how to handle TMJ pain by talking to the medical experts at Kiran Rapal, DDS. You can get a customized treatment plan to address your unique needs and restore the quality of your life. You can book an online appointment and learn about TMJ pain solutions.