Best Dentist in Manassas MA
For decades, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) has been treated mainly by dentists. However these days, it is commonly recognized that the condition is a complex one, involving numerous biological systems like digestive, circulatory, immune, nervous, skeletal and more. Although TMJ is not always a strictly dental problem, the best dentist in Manassas MA can often help patients obtain relief from this medical condition.
There is no real consensus on the standard of care for TMJ. A number of healthcare providers bill themselves as TMJ specialists, but few of their treatments are rooted in scientific evidence.
If you have TMJ, and your symptoms are worsening over time, you should consider seeking medical advice. Go slowly and obtain numerous independent opinions before undergoing any type of irreversible treatment.
You should first consult with your medical doctor to help rule out any conditions that may mimic the symptoms of TMJ. For example, pain in the facial area can be caused by conditions like:
- Abscessed or decayed teeth
- Sinus and ear infections
- Some types of headaches
- Certain connective tissue disorders, like scleroderma
- Lyme disease
In addition, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends seeking a healthcare professional who has an understanding of musculoskeletal disorders and has training in the treatment of pain conditions.
Moreover, there are a number of things that you can attempt at home to help ease the symptoms of your TMJ, including:
One thing that helps some sufferers of TMJ is being selective about the foods that they eat. Try eating softer foods like applesauce and mashed potatoes to minimize jaw pain and discomfort. When eating hard foods, it helps to slice them into smaller pieces or take smaller bites. Watch out for chewy or sticky foods that can intensify your symptoms.
Exercises like jaw stretches have helped many patients ease the symptoms of TMJ disorder. Your best dentist in Manassas MA or physical therapist can instruct you on how to perform jaw exercises at home to stretch the jaw muscles. They can also provide instruction on how to massage jaw muscles.
Since stress is known to aggravate TMJ pain, you should consider exploring ways to lower your stress levels. Some possible methods include deep breathing, yoga poses, guided imagery and meditation.
Watch Jaw Movements
You should avoid extreme jaw movements that place muscles and joints under stress. For instance, some examples include yelling and yawning that can lead to muscle tension and jaw strain.
Some patients have obtained relief from pain and discomfort through the application of warm, moist heat packs or cold compresses applied to the jaw area to promote facial and jaw relaxation.
Wearing a Bite Guard
Your best dentist in Manassas MA can provide you with a bite guard, sometimes known as a stabilization splint, to prevent bruxism, or teeth grinding.
Above all, typical bite guard is formed from plastic fitting over both upper and lower teeth to prevent them from touching together.
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