So, you feel clicking in your jaw, but you're not sure what it is. Well, it may be TMJ, also known as TMD. This occurs when your Temporomandibular Joint, which is the hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, is moved out of position. That little joint gives you the ability to move your jaw up and down and side to side, as well as to talk chew and yawn. So, what causes TMJ? Well, one of the most common causes of TMJ is whiplash. But that is not the only cause. It can also be caused by the following factors.
Causes of TMJ
- Grinding or clenching teeth (This puts undue pressure on the joint)
- Arthritis in the Temporomandibular joint
- Movement of the soft cushion or disc that is between the joint's ball and socket
- Stress (this can cause your facial or jaw muscles to tighten)
No matter what caused it, it is easy to just learn to live with this condition, but it is important not to leave it uncared for. TMJ can be a sign of an underlying problem, so just learning to live with it can lead to adverse effects. So, what can you do about it? Well, here are some things you can do to alleviate your jaw or facial pain:
- Use moist heat or cold packs – Apply an icepack to the side of your face and temple for 10 minutes, then gently stretch your jaw (no further then is comfortable), and then hold a warm towel or washcloth to the side of your face for five minutes
- Eat soft foods – This will allow your Temporomandibular Joint and other facial muscles to rest
- Relax your Jaw – Don't overuse your jaw by yawning too much. Also, don't chew such things as gum and ice as little as possible. Other things to avoid are yelling and singing
- Good Posture – It's easy to cradle the phone between our ear and shoulder, but it's not recommended
- Teeth Positioning – Keeping your teeth apart will help you to not clench them
The Best TMJ Remedy
Okay, so whether your TMJ is due to whiplash, grinding your teeth, or anything else, there is one other thing you can do to relieve the pressure. In fact, this last one will not only relieve the pressure, it will eliminate the pressure by focusing on the underlying cause. Frequently TMJ is a result of a misalignment the head and neck. Accidents and injuries will tear loose the connective tissue that holds the spine in place and allow the head shift slightly from its normal centered position. This will lead to uneven pressure into the jaw joints. Correcting the head and neck alignment with a specific upper cervical corrective procedure has shown to be extremely effective at addressing the underlying cause of TMJ and other conditions.
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