Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Stress Management
Health Care

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Stress Management

Talking, chewing, laughing, and smiling are facial movements you make daily with a little conscious effort. But, if you are suffering from Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, such movements can cause severe pain. Some issues caused by TMJ dysfunction include headaches, jaw pain, and difficulty in opening and closing the mouth as well.

We know how frustrating TMJ can be. With this condition, you may have to struggle to enjoy your meal. Besides, it can also badly disrupt your conversation. This article covers the crucial aspects of Temporomandibular joint dysfunction stress management.

What Is Temporomandibular?

Temporomandibular Joints are the two joints connecting the skull and the lower jaw. These joints consist of the temporal and the mandible bones and rotate in front of your ears. Unlike other joints, temporomandibular joints are the most complex. So, when the skull and joints are properly aligned, various smooth muscle actions occur, including swallowing, talking, chewing, and yawning. But what if there is no alignment? This can cause a number of problems, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction is one of them.


TMJ Treatment Options

There are different treatment options for TMJ. Some of these are given in the following:

Home Treatments

Physicians usually advise starting to treat the temporomandibular joint dysfunction at home. For example, you can treat most of the TMJ symptoms easily with self-care practices at your home. However, you should ensure to reduce jaw movements, eat soft foods, use ice cream overly to reduce swelling, take necessary measures for reduced stress, avoid tough foods and chewing gums, and perform jaw-stretching exercises.

Essential Medication

If the home treatments don’t show any effective results against TMJ, you should go for medications now. However, it is best to use the medication as the doctor prescribes. Some of the essential medications include antidepressants, corticosteroids, muscle relaxers, NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), local anaesthetics, and others. So, let your doctor decide the medication for you to avoid any inconveniences.

Advanced Therapies

Therapies can also help treat TMJ. If you are still experiencing TMJ issues after the continuous use of medication, your doctor may ask for physical therapy. Depending on the targeted area, many advanced therapies are available. For example, heat therapy, acupuncture, tissue mobilization, cooling therapy, stretches, resistance exercises, etc. Other options, including stress management exercises or talk therapies, are also best.

Advanced Therapies

Surgical Or Other Methods

If none of the above treatments is effective against TMJ, the last option left will be surgery or several other methods. For example, one of such treatments includes Botox injections. In case you are dealing with chronic teeth grinding or painful trigger points, botox injections are the best choice. Besides, some surgical options include arthrocentesis and corrective dental treatment to align your teeth and improve your bite.

TMJ And Stress

Stress can have adverse effects on your body. Also, it is directly linked to problems with TMJ. You need to understand the relationship between TMJ and stress. So, TMJ with stress can cause tightened jaw muscles, clenching of teeth, and unconscious grinding. Not only this, but the nerve will also stimulate the jaw muscles, resulting in a flight or fight response. It will add tension to your jaw muscles and cause unnecessary pressure.

TMJ Pain Relief

Sadly speaking, Temporomandibular joint dysfunction pain has become a common and difficult-to-treat medical condition nowadays. Are you also experiencing TMJ issues? If so, in the below, we have listed some exercises that will be helpful for TMJ pain relief:

Chin Tucks

Chin tucks is a simple routine exercise that can relieve TMJ pain. All you have to do is slowly open and close your mouth while keeping the tongue and teeth apart. This will allow the jaw muscles to relax. You need to keep these muscles relaxed throughout the exercise. This will help reduce the tightness in the area suffering from TMJ issues.

Goldfish Exercises (Partial Opening)

Next comes Goldfish exercises. In this exercise, you just need to open and close your mouth partially like goldfish do. This will help decrease TMJ stiffness and increase the flexibility motion as well. Apart from this, carrying out Goldfish exercises daily with partial opening will relax the jaw muscles of your mouth, allowing them to move easily.

Goldfish Exercises (Full Opening)

Goldfish exercises with full opening are also best for TMJ pain relief. The foremost purpose of doing this exercise is to open your mouth as much as you can. However, you must ensure that the tongue is on the roof of your mouth so that your jaws feel relaxed. This exercise helps strengthen the jaw muscles as well, reducing TMJ pain and tension.

Relaxed Jaw Exercise

Are you facing Temporomandibular joint pain? If so, relaxed jaw exercise can also help here. In this exercise, you have to open and close your mouth slowly in a manner that the jaw muscles are relaxed throughout the exercise. This will provide relief from the TMJ by reducing the tightness and tension in the jaws. So, this exercise does work best.

Forward Jaw Movement

In order to perform this exercise, you have to stand or sit comfortably with the head facing forward. Open your mouth slowly in front of your upper teeth with a slight gap between them. Now hold this position for ten seconds and return gently to the original position. The forward jaw movement can also effectively relieve you from the TMJ pain.

5 Ways To Manage Your TMJ Discomfort

Unlike surgical options, you can get rid of TMJ discomfort with non-surgical treatments. Here are the five Temporomandibular joint dysfunction stress management ways:

1. Stress Reduction Practices

There is no denying that the interest in different stress relief methods, including deep breathing, meditation, and yoga, has significantly increased. Plenty of research has proven that such methods can reduce stress in many ways. Let’s talk about Yoga. Yoga is helpful in lowering cortisol levels. Thus, it is advisable to incorporate stress reduction techniques in your everyday lives to successfully relieve your jaw pain and tension.

2. Jaw Exercises and Self-Massage

Sometimes, self-massage and doing jaw exercises can relieve your discomfort and pain. One famous example of such exercise is the relaxed jaw exercise, as discussed above. For gentle self-massage, you need to run the index finger in a circular motion around the jawpoint for a while. So, following this motion will not only relax your jaws but also give you relief from TMJ. Make sure to self-massage or do jaw exercises daily.

3. Ergonomic Techniques

The health of your jaws also depends on the posture. The constant slouching makes jaw muscles out of alignment. It will cause stress and tension, resulting in TMJ disorders. So, keep your back and shoulders flat against the chair, use some lumbar support tools, and place your feet straight on the ground. If you are using a computer monitor, ensure to keep it at eye level, as it will help prevent your head from being tilted.

4. Connection Of Mind And Body

Your body and mind are connected to each other. So, the stressed mind can cause physical pain in the body, especially in your jaw muscles. What you feel mentally and physically can reduce TMJ pain and stress symptoms. In order to achieve this, you need to take a mindful pause. Understand the mind-body connection and follow the brain exercises to keep it relaxed. This is the best possible way to manage TMJ stress.

5. Seeking Professional Care

If you are still experiencing TMJ problems after following the necessary exercises, it is best to seek professional care. You should visit an expert dentist. The experienced dentist will provide tailored treatment plans for Temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Ignoring TMJ symptoms can lead to severe issues later, which can be difficult to mitigate. So, it is highly recommended to get rid of this disorder as early as possible.

Concluding Remarks

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction affects every individual differently. It has become a very common issue that impacts the significant quality of our lives. So, if you are dealing with facial pain, headaches, frequent jaw pain, or any other TMJ symptoms, visit an expert healthcare provider instantly. By doing so, you’ll get an effective TMJ treatment. So, we hope you have learned crucial aspects of TMJ by reading this ultimate guideline.

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