Posted on 10/5/2020 by Pacific Maxillofacial Center
The temporomandibular joint or TMJ secures the mandible to the skull. The symptoms of TMJ may not be focused on the actual joint. They can include generalized jaw pain, a clicking sound when chewing or biting down, earaches, a popping sound in the ears, migraines or sore jaw muscles. In rare circumstances the jaw can actually lock partially open or closed. This discomfort and pain can cause sleeplessness and can even aggravate the symptoms even further.
What can Alleviate the Symptoms?
While there are many causes of TMJ including jaw and face trauma, teeth misalignment and other dental circumstances. The main cause is jaw misalignment. Whether this is because of other underlying circumstances, the main problem remains jaw misalignment. If the jaw can be properly aligned, then the symptoms will disappear. Sometimes, that is easier said than done.
Mouthguards can help to get jaw in the proper position, so the teeth align and the tension on the jaw decreases. One suggested remedy is to chew on pencils to alleviate the stress on the TMJ. While it is true chewing on a pencil does put the jaw in a better position and can alleviate the pain, it is not recommended. According to the American Dental Association, chewing on pens or pencils can, in fact, cause the same issues that someone who clenches their jaw or grinds their teeth do. It is better to rely on relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga to relieve stress, which can cause the jaw grinding and clenching of the jaw.
It is important to note while there are some practices and treatments which do alleviate the pain, but it only takes care of relieving the symptoms not the actual cause of the problems. The problem is found in the TMJ. Why not treat the source? If you have concerns over your TMJ feel free to contact us.