An impressive number of anatomical systems make up the human body. All of them work together to keep us moving, smiling, and living life to the fullest. However, now and then, our bodies can experience aches and pain that stop us from or make it difficult for us to do these things. TMJ pain is one such example of this.
For more information about TMJ treatment in NW Calgary, get in touch with our dental practice today.
What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. These joints are found on either side of our faces, connecting our jawbone to our skull. Whether you’re familiar with this term or not, we use these joints every single day to chew and swallow our food, make conversation, and laugh.
This disorder arises when there’s a problem with this joint, which, by extension, hinders our ability to move it. Facial trauma and therefore jaw injuries, inflammation, hyperextension, and overuse are just a few things that can contribute to TMJ pain. If this is left unaddressed, especially for a long period, you can experience pain and stiffness in not just your jaw, but in and around your ears, and down your neck; your jaw may tend to audibly click or pop when you move your mouth; lockjaw and headaches can happen too.
Something that many people may not realize is that dentists can both identify and help treat TMJ pain. Dentists possess in-depth knowledge about oral anatomy and how it works in conjunction with the anatomy of your head, neck, and even your shoulders. So, if you’re experiencing TMJ pain, speak with a dentist near you.
Relieve TMJ Pain
You’ve probably heard that stretching and movement help alleviate stiffness; well, the same applies to jaw soreness. If you’re dealing or struggling with TMJ disorder, book an appointment with your dentist in NW Calgary when you can. They’ll be able to provide you with a list of exercises that you can do each day to help alleviate this pain.
These exercises may include:
1. Relaxing your jaw – Rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth, behind your upper teeth. Keeping your jaw relaxed, move your teeth away from each other by opening your mouth.
2. Goldfish exercise part 1 – Once again, rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Place one finger in front of your ear where it connects to your jaw; using your other hand, place another finger on your chin. Open your mouth slowly, but not all the way.
3. Goldfish exercise part 2 – You’re doing the same thing as above, but you’re opening your mouth all the way.
4. Chin tucks – With your back straight, lower your chin until you make that notorious “double chin”.
5. Resisted mouth opening – With your thumb situated underneath your chin, gradually open your mouth. Use your thumb to push against your chin while you do so to create some resistance. Hold, then close.
6. Resisted mouth closing – Using both hands, squeeze your chin with your index fingers and thumbs. Keeping your mouth closed, push against your chin.
7. Tongue up – Touch your tongue to the top of your mouth, then open and close your mouth.
8. Side-to-side jaw movement – Place a small object like a straw between your front teeth. Then, alternate moving your jaw to and from either side.
9. Move your jaw forward – Using the same object as in the exercise above, place it between your front teeth again, then move your jaw forward until your bottom teeth are in front of your top teeth, like a piranha.
To achieve real improvement, each individual exercise should be repeated multiple times as well as practiced every day.
Are you looking to receive TMJ treatment near you? At Dentrix Dental Care, we’re here to help you however we can. Our staff will be able to answer any questions you may have. Book an appointment via our website or give us a call to get things started!