Studies show that around 12% of all Americans are living with TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder. TMJ is the joint that connects our jaws to the skull. And when that joint malfunctions, it inevitably causes several issues, pain and discomfort. However, unlike many other conditions related to your teeth and oral health, this one is not always cured with surgery. In fact, the reputed oral and maxillofacial surgeons in Charlotte, Cornelius, Huntersville, Mooresville and Statesville NC often reserve the surgery only for those that involve some serious cases.
So, if you have TMJ disorder, then this is not the end of the life. However, it doesn’t mean you have to ignore your TMJ disorder. If you are wondering whether you should get TMJ treatment in Charlotte NC or not, then you must need to know what TMJ disorder can do to your life.
Negative Effects of TMJ Disorder in Life
- TMJ disorder often puts a limitation on what you eat. As a TMJ patient, you might experience difficulties opening your mouth. At the same time, you might suffer from a bad bite. As a result, you will not be able to chew as much as you need. Hence, your diet will become limited.
- TMJ muscles are responsible to keep your head balanced especially when you are exerting. Hence, when you are engaging in physical activities like exercising, running, biking or climbing, you will feel pain in your jaw and TMJ.
- TMJ disorder can affect your quality of life. As TMJ pain can make it difficult to maintain oral hygiene, it is also very difficult to ensure healthy teeth. Impacted or misaligned teeth can make you look unattractive.
So, as you can see, ignoring this issue is not an option for you. Now, let’s take a look at the most common symptoms of TMJ disorder.
- Headache, mild to severe
- Aching pain in and around your ears
- Locking and popping of your joint
- Pain and tenderness in your jaw and cheek
- Pain and difficulty while chewing food
Apart from these signs, there are some more that are often ignored but can indicate the problem with your TMJ. Look at the signs that you should never ignore.
- Sharp facial pain
- Deep ear pain
- Facial swelling
- Muscle spasm and pain in the neck and upper back
When you are coming expecting a corrective jaw surgery for your TMJ disorder, you must know that it will not be an option unless your case is extremely severe. Surgeons in Davidson, Kenansville and Concord NC are not of the opinion of surgery for TMJ. And that is why you will be suggested to make a few lifestyle changes. Take a look at the following points to know more.
Avoid Chewing Gum
Chewing gums can make your TMJ and the surrounding muscles completely exhausted and that will affect the health of your jaw. If you are talking and eating normally, your jaw is getting enough exercise. So, you don’t need to chew gum anymore. Also, if you must, then you should not chew it for more than three minutes.
Quick DIY Massage
When you are experiencing a lot of pain and discomfort in your jaw, you can massage the masseter muscle so that you can get some relief from the pain. This will reduce muscle tension. Your doctor can show you such a massage so that you can immediately manage the pain.
Acupressure can activate different points of the body and helps you manage your pain and discomfort. You can find hundreds of online videos that will help you do this all by yourself.
Relax Your Jaw
Any reputed TMJ specialist in Charlotte NC will offer you the clear plastic device which is known as a splint. It will fit over your top or bottom teeth, effectively separating your teeth and thereby helping your jaw to relax.
Change Your Posture
You will be directed with some exercises that will help you check your posture too. Not keeping your head straight or ears in the line of your shoulder can lead to bad posture, resulting in more pain. With the right posture, you can manage it effectively.
TMJ disorder can be managed and you can live a full life even with this condition. So, don’t worry. However, if you see any signs or symptoms, get medical attention immediately.