TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorders) is a fairly common condition that affects the jaw joints, and can cause pain and fatigue in the surrounding facial muscles. The good news is, according to the Mayo Clinic, there are ways you can manage the discomfort without resorting to surgery or heavy medications.
TMJ can be caused by a variety of factors such as injury to the jaw, improper jaw alignment, teeth grinding, arthritis or a combination of those factors. One thing in common is that these can all lead to nagging pain in the face and jaw that can be distracting to downright excruciating. Ease the pain of TMJ with these tips…
1. Wear a Night/Bite Guard
You may not be aware of it, but you could be grinding or clenching your teeth during sleep, which puts pressure on the bones and muscles that control the jaw. You may even be clenching your teeth during waking hours due to stress or fatigue without even realizing you’re doing it, adding to the problem.
The Mayo Clinic lists a bite guard as one of the ways to manage your TMJ. A night/bite guard is a relatively inexpensive oral device that fits comfortably over your teeth. While the clinic notes that it’s not fully understood why these devices are effective for TMJ, the New York Times points out that bite guards have been used since the 1930’s to prevent teeth grinding and clenching.