Oral Hygiene Topic: Temporomandibular Joints

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A TMJ refers to a temporomandibular joint, which resides in your jaw and is responsible for eating, chewing, and speaking. It is also the joint that controls the movement of your mouth that makes it open and close. If the joint should become damaged, a temporomandibular joint disorder can strike, which is also called a TMD.

If you suffer from a TMJ disorder, take the time to care for your jaw as best as you can until you can see your dentist. Typically, with the help of ice packs for inflammation and heat packs for pain, your jaw can see improvement. If your TMJ disorder is caused by another disorder such as bruxism, try using night guards to help alleviate some pressure off your jaw.

Meditation also helps ease pain associated with TMJ disorders. There are many treatments to try, including soothing music, soft biofeedback techniques, and yoga. If medication is necessary, be sure it has been approved by your dentist. Also try to cut back on bad habits that can cause your jaw more pain including eating hard foods, biting your nails, and chewing bubble gum.

To learn more about TMJ disorders, contact Dr. J. Richard Burch and our team at KC Smile Doc by calling us at 816-822-0990. If you would like an oral exam or bi-annual professional cleaning, our dentist office is located in Kansas City, Missouri. The best smiles begin as soon as you start caring for them.