The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) serves as the attachment between the skull and the jawbone. When this joint gets injured, it may cause a disorder called the temporomandibular joint syndrome, that is, a disorder to the nerves and muscles in the jaw.
Arthritis and accidents that cause injury to the temporomandibular joint are the usual causes and risk factors to this disorder. Some cases, however, cannot provide a clear explanation as to their cause.
Signs and symptoms
You may possibly have TMJ syndrome when you start experiencing the following signs and symptoms:
- The feeling of pain in the jaw especially when chewing or talking; may include rigidity or stiffness of the jaw
- Popping or clicking sounds in the jaw area
- General pain, numbness, tingling sensation in the face, most especially the cheeks, under the tongue, around the ears, and the shoulders
Treatment and Prevention
When you suffer from TMJ syndrome, industry professional TMJsleepindiana.com notes that there are treatments that may suit your needs. There are a lot of options you can choose from depending on how you want to manage and treat the disorder.
There are medications that can ease the pain like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) and other pain relievers. You can usually buy these without the need of prescription however, it is best you consult your doctor first to avoid possible complications or interactions. Other drugs that a doctor may suggest are muscle relaxants or antidepressants like amitriptyline to also relieve neuromuscular pains, and sedatives when the pain causes you some troubles getting sleep. Some clinics offer therapies to relax your muscles. Oral or dental splints and bite guards may also help.
You may use ice packs to relieve the pain of your jaws. Some may even recommend warmer packs that use moist heat. A gentle massage may also help in jaw muscle relaxation.
Another muscle relaxant is the Botox, however, the FDA does not approve of this procedure yet as a form of treatment or management to this disorder. To help make the pain more tolerable, the doctor may prescribe medical marijuana provided that it is legal to your place.