Do you suffer from chronic head and neck pain? Do you hear a popping or clicking sound in your jaw? Over 10 million Americans exhibit signs of TMJ disorder, also known as TMD. Many people don’t realize that by doing a few simple exercises every day they can reduce their TMD-related pain. In today’s blog, your Rochester family dentist, Dr. Gilly Calcagno, discusses how to ease symptoms of TMJ disorder.
What is TMD?
TMJ disorder occurs when strain is placed on the temporomandibular joint. This joint connects the jaw to the skull and controls all jaw movement, such as chewing or talking. Patients with TMD report difficulty eating, headaches, earaches, and jaw pain. TMJ disorder often results from a misaligned bite or in many cases, teeth grinding. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, places stress on the temporomandibular joint, leading to TMD. In most cases, teeth grinding is caused by an increase in stress and anxiety.
Dr. Calcagno may recommend that a patient complete a series of daily jaw muscle exercises to decrease symptoms of TMJ disorder. One common exercise involves standing in front of a mirror and opening and closing your mouth. Did your jaw open more to one side? If so, try opening and closing your mouth while keeping your jaw completely even. Repeat this movement ten times, up to three times a day. Next, try a jaw thrust. Breathe in, and as you exhale move your jaw forward, past your upper teeth. Hold this position for a few seconds, and relax. Repeat this exercise five to ten times. Finally, open your mouth as wide as you can and close it. Then open your mouth while shifting your jaw to the right, and open your mouth again shifting your jaw to the left. Repeat three times, and complete three sets daily. If you jaw is sore, apply a warm compress to help your muscles relax.
Schedule a Visit with Your Rochester Family Dentist
Do you suffer from painful TMD symptoms? Make an appointment with your Rochester family dentist by calling 507-281-3659. Dr. Calcagno can provide a diagnosis and discuss treatment options. Our 55902 dentist office offers the latest in general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry. We serve patients from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, and surrounding areas.