How To Relieve TMJ Pain
As a person suffering from a TMJ disorder, you know how distressing it can be to try to relieve TMJ pain. Like many others, you probably contend with pain in your jaw, neck and face, along with common symptoms like blurred vision, ear pain, muffled hearing, dizziness, ringing of ears, light and sound sensitivity, eye pain, excessive tears and a clicking jaw. You want relief, but more to the point, you need a permanent solution. Learning more about TMJ and your therapeutic options can help you make informed decisions about your treatment.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
You may know that TMJ is short for the temporomandibular joint. There are two of these joints connecting your jaw to the rest of your skull on its left and right sides. Acting like hinges, they allow you to move your jaw vertically and horizontally. These movements allow you to speak, chew, drink, kiss and yawn.
TMD, or temporomandibular disorders, affect these joints and the muscles controlling them. There’s no single common type of TMD that all sufferers have because a wide range of things can cause them. Injuries to the jaw or head and neck muscles, such as whiplash from a car accident, can result in TMD. Pre-existing bite problems, jaw imbalances, muscle strain, arthritis, stress or even grinding your teeth may lead to a TMJ dysfunction.
Common TMJ Symptoms
TM joints connect the jaw to the temporal bones that comprise the sides and base of the skull. That’s why TMDs can cause pain and discomfort in your face, jaw, ears, eyes and surrounding areas. However, many symptoms of temporomandibular disorders can mimic those of other conditions like sinus problems, chronic migraines or tooth pain. Rather than assume what’s causing your problem, it’s a good idea to seek medical advice from your doctor or schedule a consultation with us.
How your TMJ dysfunction affects you can be different from another person with a similar TM issue. Many people experience a wide range of symptoms:
- Pain, tenderness or stiffness in the jaw, neck, face or shoulders
- Headaches that don’t get better with medication
- Clicking or popping noises with jaw movement
- Difficulty swallowing or opening the mouth wide
- Blurred vision or dizziness
- Pain behind the eyes
- Light or sound sensitivity
- A tired feeling in the face, neck or jaw
- Excessive tear production
- Ear congestion or hearing loss
- Ringing or buzzing in the ears
- Ear pain
Relieve TMJ Pain
Because temporomandibular disorders can be caused by different things, any treatment plan must be personalized for the best results. Therapies focus on the root causes of the problem as well as pain relief. Surgery may be the last resort in some cases, but other less invasive therapies can target the problem and ease symptoms. Dr. Klein will recommend treatment methods based on your specific diagnoses.
- Adjustable corrective orthotic mouthpieces
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS unit usage
- Physical massage of the TM joint and surrounding muscles
- Application of heat
- Pain relieving injections
- Non-invasive pain relief
We also educate to help you better understand your condition. Certain harmful habits may exacerbate TM dysfunction, so we show you how to avoid these habits. Many of these treatments could be covered by your insurer. Our administrative staff can help confirm your coverage, so don’t hesitate to contact them if you have any questions.
Contact Your Head and Neck Specialist
For over 25 years, Michigan Head & Neck Institute has provided compassionate high-quality care to clients in Warren and surrounding communities. As a trusted TMJ doctor, Dr. Richard Klein along with our experienced staff treat TMJ disorders, sleep apnea and related conditions. We want to help restore your health and quality of life, and we’d love to hear from you! Visit our contact page and enter your info to schedule a consultation. You can also call our practice at (586) 588-9444.