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What are the Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, and Prevention for TMJ ? – National TMJ Awareness Month (part 2 of 3)

tmj_pain(1)What are the Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, and Prevention for TMJ ? – National TMJ Awareness Month (part 2 of 3)

Causes of TMJ:

Many of your TMJ-problems are caused by the effects of physical stress on the structures around your TMJ joints. These structures include your: cartilage disk at the joint, muscles of the jaw, face, and neck, nearby ligaments, blood vessels, nerves, and your teeth.

Some of your TMJ causes include: bad bite, braces, stress, and teeth grinding. (Note: Many of you with TMJ problems do not grind your teeth, and many of you who grind your teeth do not have problems with your  TMJ joints.)

Poor posture can also be an important factor in your TMJ symptoms. (For example: holding your head forward while looking at a computer all day strains the muscles of your face and neck.) You can see more about posture on my previous post series Here.

Other factors that might make your TMJ symptoms worse are poor diet and lack of sleep.

Other possible causes of  your TMJ-related symptoms can include: arthritis, fractures, dislocations, and structural problems present since birth.

Symptoms associated with TMJ disorder:

Do you have? Biting or chewing difficulty or discomfort? Clicking, popping, or grating sound when opening or closing your mouth? Dull, aching pain in your face? Earache? Headaches? Jaw pain or tenderness of your jaw? Or a reduced ability to open or close your mouth?

Treatments for TMJ disorder:

Simple, gentle therapies are usually recommended first, including:

  • Chiropractic adjustments.
  • Gently stretching.
  • Relaxing and massaging the muscles around your jaw.

Self-care steps to treat TMJ problems you can do also prevent such problems in the first place:

  • You should avoid actions that cause your symptoms, such as: yawning, singing, eating hard foods, and chewing gum.
  • Try moist heat or cold packs on your face.
  • Learn stress-reducing techniques to reduce overall stress and muscle tension.
  • Maintain good posture, especially if you work all day at a computer. Pause often to change position, rest your hands and arms, and relieve stressed muscles.
  • Exercising several times each week may help you increase your ability to handle pain.
  • Use safety measures to reduce the risk of fractures and dislocations.

Be sure to check back for Next week’s Article: How Can Chiropractic Help TMJ joint problems? – National TMJ Awareness Month (part 3 of 3) . . . or keep yourself up to date with what is going on at Belvidere Chiropractic Center by simply subscribing to Belvidere Chiropractic’s RSS Feed or to our Email Updates. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIN.

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