It is a lucky person that never has to deal with stress, the pressures of daily life are different for everyone, but there are always periods of time that can be difficult to deal with. How we deal with our stresses can vary wildly as some can just exercise away their worries, some can ignore them, and other worry so much that it can cause an actual medical condition. For a good section of the stressed out population, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a real concern.
This disorder is often caused by involuntary grinding of ones teeth or clenching the jaw tightly. Oftentimes, sufferers don’t know they even have TMJ because the grinding happens during the night, as they sleep. Symptoms can be innocuous enough that many won’t go to the doctor until it gets worse.
This pain is especially annoying due to the fact that it targets the joints that connect your lower and upper jaw together. It is this joint that allows you to yawn, talk, and chew your food. So, when this is tender, or experiencing inflammation, it can be difficult to just let it heal by taking a moratorium on moving your jaw.
The actual symptoms of pain will work their way outwards to encompass the areas in and around your ears, as well as giving you headaches. Once symptoms progress to the point that you have difficulty opening or closing your mouth, you will have to see a doctor for treatment.
Other risk factors for this problem can be attributed to arthritis or injury, but it is more often than not connected to the clenching of our jaws or grinding of teeth that accompanies times of high stress, in some individuals. Also, as with the case that sleep apnea affects men more than women, women between the ages of 30 and 50 are at the highest risk for this problem.
Just grinning and bearing it isn’t the way to go about dealing with TMJ. There are, fortunately, a number of treatments that encompass the pharmaceutical, surgical, and even behavioral. The first and last are usually all that are need since, since in most cases it is the overwork of muscles that is the problem.
The severity of your case can only be determined through an appointment with your doctor. Using a variety of image technology including the x-ray, CT scan, or MRI they’ll be able to take a detailed look at your bones and joint disks to elucidate the extent of the damage.
Getting through the pain as you go through treatment usually just involves taking some pain killers or muscle relaxers. In some patients it can be found that the TMJ itself is not the main problem, but is just the physical manifestation of something deeper like depression. In fact, anti-depressants have been found to work for a number of patients.
With more severe conditions centered within the cartilage and joint disks themselves, injectable therapies are used. The administration of these drugs is directly into the sights of damage. A corticosteroid can be used for a long term anti-inflammatory effects while Botox can actually be used to paralyze the nerves and give you some time to heal.
Other than these treatments, many patients will also be given a soft mold they can wear to sleep. These feel similar to the guards that athletes wear and can prevent the detrimental effects of teeth grinding, but may not be prescribed to those with additional issues like sleep apnea. Also, cognitive behavioral therapy has done wonders for patients who learn how to manage their stress levels better so that they don’t induce TMJ in the first place.
Tinnitus is a typical and very annoying symptom of TMJ. You can find plenty of information about different tinnitus treatment options on the internet. One of the best tinnitus cure programs available online is the Tinnitus Miracle system. Find out more by visiting at GetHelpForTinnitus.com.