Millions of people — as many as 15% of the current American population suffer from symptoms of a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). In two weeks, the suffering is over for many people. However, others are not so lucky. Yet, while they may have to invest time, energy, and resources for treatment of symptoms, there is more than one approach to consider.
Basic remedies or TMD you can do at home
Chronic pain at the front of the ear, which may radiate to the jaw and face, is one of the hallmarks of temporomandibular joint disorder. Most of the time sufferers also suffer headaches, and in consequence lose sleep, and are unable to eat and chew properly, according to the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Center of Indiana.
When there is something wrong with the temporomandibular joint in front of the ear, home remedies can help. If you feel some discomfort and hear a clicking sound when you open your mouth, then you can start eating softer foods, take over-the-counter pain, and anti-inflammatory medicine while you’re at it. If you avoid chewing gum and lay down on the nuts and crackers, then you might find the symptoms resolving by themselves. It also helps the pain if you apply a warm compress to the area and gently massage the painful part.
More conservative management for TMD
The American Academy of Orofacial Pain clarifies that there is more than a single cause for the disorder. Because the joint is complex, and the muscles surrounding it are usually involved as well, doctors recommend additional management such as stress management and relaxation exercises. The list of TMJ treatments goes on and on. Aside from pain relievers, doctors may also prescribe muscle relaxants or sedative.
Pain management also involves tricyclic antidepressants, if the doctor thinks they can help improve the quality of life. In addition, some doctors prescribe oral splints for people with bite issues. Others recommend physical therapy for management of joint and muscle problems.
Temporomandibular joint disorders can be bothersome indeed. Just be open to your doctor’s recommendations.