Your temporomandibular joints, more commonly referred to as TMJ, are the joint and muscles that make it possible to open and close you mouth. Your TMJ is found on both sides of your head and work together when you eat, talk, or move your jaw for any reason. Your TMJ manages your upper and lower jaw bone when moving frontwards, backwards, or side to side.
In each of these joints, exists a disc between the ball and socket for support. This means that these complex joints are made up of bones, ligaments, muscles, and discs. Due to the complexity, there are conditions that may cause some difficulty with how it should normally function. This experience may be uncomfortable and cause you some pain.
Some common causes of TMJ difficulty include:
- positioning of your teeth and jaw
- bruxism (grinding of your teeth)
Before you receive treatment for discomfort in your TMJ, it is important to be diagnosed by a dental professional. After being diagnosed, there are many different treatment options available. There are also some steps you can take at home in order to ease the discomfort of your TMJ.
Some steps you can take include:
- Eating soft foods.
- Avoid chewing gum and your nails.
- Use a heat pack to ease the soreness.
- Participate in relaxing activities, like yoga or meditation, to relieve jaw tension.