Do you have jaw pain, jaw clicking, or difficulty opening your mouth? If so, you may have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, which is oftentimes accompanied by headaches and/or neck pain. At PDR, we have developed a TMJ/Cervical Pain Program which may be an excellent addition to your current dental treatment plan if your dentist has already initiated treatment.
The TMJ joint is located just in front your ear, and allows the jaw to open and close. Just like other joints in your body, the TMJ can develop arthritis (joint pain), hypomobility (stiffness and impaired motion), and surrounding muscle pain (myofacial pain).
The following is a list of aggravating factors that should be avoided, in an attempt to lesson your TMJ symptoms and improve jaw function:
Eat a soft diet and no caffeine
Chew food on both sides of mouth
No nail biting or gum chewing
No excessive or prolonged jaw opening
No stomach sleeping or on your side with jaw on pillow
Sit with proper posture (with head directly over shoulders)
No teeth clenching or grinding
No phone cradling
Decrease stress/anxiety level via relaxation techniques
During your therapy sessions at PDR, therapists determine specific treatments that may help improve jaw pain and mobility. Modalities such as ultrasound, heat, or ice may be used to help decrease pain and inflammation around the TMJ. Specific exercises and manual muscle releases completed daily will help restore normal joint motion of the jaw. MedX cervical spine rehabilitation is aimed at improving head posture, neck strength and jaw alignment, which in turn helps to decrease muscular tightness and ultimately, pain.