TMJ disorder, or TMD, is caused by problems in the jaw joints and related muscles. Mild symptoms can appear and then go away again without treatment.
However, chronic cases of TMJ disorder don’t go away on their own, causing pain while eating, talking, and swallowing. They often require dental care and other remedies to relieve the pain and solve the causes.
To determine if TMJ disorder goes away, let’s look at:
- The common symptoms of TMD
- What causes it
- The possible remedies you can try
What are TMJ disorder symptoms?
Many people have issues with the jaw joints, or TMJ (temporomandibular joints), during their lives.
That’s because we use these joints more than any others while talking, chewing, yawning, swallowing, and other movements.
A disorder in the TMJ can cause symptoms that include:
- Face and shoulder pain
- Headaches, including migraines
- Clicking or popping jaws
- Difficulty opening your mouth up or down or moving it from side to side
- Pain in your jaw area
- Pain in your neck or shoulders
- Ear-related issues, such as pain, ringing, or hearing difficulties
- Daytime fatigue
What causes TMJ disorder?
Each case of TMD is different. It could be caused by sources that include:
- Accidents or other joint trauma
- Stress, depression, or anxiety
- Arthritis or other joint diseases
- Diseases affecting connective tissue
- Teeth grinding
- A misaligned bite
These and other challenges damage the joints, which often puts additional pressure on muscles and tissues around the joints.
Home remedies for TMJ disorder
For those with mild TMD, home remedies are sometimes enough to relieve the symptoms. The pain of TMD stems from fatigue and damage in the muscles and joints, so you might try:
- Soft Foods: Take a break from hard foods, chewy foods, and gum. Cut hard foods, like carrots, into small pieces. Eat more soft foods, like applesauce and mashed potatoes.
- Stretching: Perform regular facial stretches, using recommended routines from a doctor or dentist.
- Massage: Gently rub your jaw muscles using recommended techniques.
- Relieve Bruxism: Find a way to stop grinding your teeth (a custom night guard is the most effective option).
- Relax Your TMJ: Consciously rest your jaw joint. Avoid big yawns and yelling.
- Medicine: Reduce swelling using medication.
- Hot and Cold: Relieve symptoms with an ice pack and/or a warm, moist cloth, using each for 15 minutes and then switching.
You may gently open and close your mouth while using an ice pack or warm towel, loosening the joints and muscles.
Dental remedies for TMJ disorder
Chronic TMJ disorder, though, may require dental intervention. This can include:
- Orthodontics: If your bite movement is putting too much stress on your jaw, a dentist may use orthodontics to align your bite.
- Tooth Modifications: Some dentists change the shape of a tooth or teeth to relieve stress on the jaw.
- Dental Appliances: A bite guard or splint is an appliance that covers your teeth. This can stop your teeth from grinding together and putting stress on your TMJ.
These treatments aim to take the load off of your jaw joints and surrounding tissues, giving them time to heal naturally. This has relieved chronic TMD for patients.
Treat TMJ disorder in Gig Harbor, WA
Will your TMJ disorder go away? If your pain is mild, try at-home remedies, and your symptoms might disappear.
But if your pain is chronic, you may need professional help. At Uptown Dental and Wellness Center, we use conservative options for your best health in a comfortable environment.
If you have jaw discomfort, headaches, or other related pain, contact us now for an appointment:
- Call us at (253) 857-0835
Uptown Dental and Wellness Center is located in Gig Harbor, WA, and we’re proud to serve nearby communities, including Port Orchard and Tacoma.