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How To Treat Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Nov 25, 2007
TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) refers to the conditions that cause discomfort and pain in the joint that connects the jaw, as well as the individual muscles that control the movement of the jaw. It is a painful and annoying disorder that afflicts a large number of people. In fact according to recent statistics, it is estimated that there are as many as 10 million people who suffer from some form of TMJ.

With such significant numbers affected by the condition, it would seem logical that there would be widespread concern over it. However in reality, many people who have TMJ may not take the condition as seriously as they should because the pain associated with it may start out being relatively minor. Additionally, many people who suffer from TMJ find that the disorder goes away on its own through a natural healing process. These factors have combined to make the general level of concern regarding the condition quite low.

This is not to suggest that all instances of temporomandibular joint dysfunction are minor, however. There are numerous people who suffer from a chronic and debilitating pain that derives from this condition, and that does not go away. In these cases, patients must seek proper medical help in order to treat the condition and alleviate the pain.

Naturally, the types of treatments available may raise some concerns because of fears that they may prove complex or invasive. However while there are indeed invasive means of dealing with TMJ, there are also a number of simpler treatments that are just as effective in many cases. Ultimately, the type of treatment that is used can vary from one individual to another based on the particular characteristics of their condition.

So what exactly does TMJ affect? The temporomandibular joint is what connects the lower jaw (also known as the mandible) to the temporal bone. These joints are what allow the jaw to move and this in turn affects one's ability talk, eat and even hear properly. In order to perform these various functions, the jaw joint must move properly and without restriction. So, when TMJ sets in and restricts this basic movement, it becomes very painful and makes seeking effective treatment essential to continuing on with daily life activities.

Probably the most common way of dealing with this condition is to use a stabilization splint or "bite guard." Essentially, this is an item that fits over the upper and lower teeth and stabilizes the jaw so that the condition either corrects itself through the natural healing process, or at least reduces the amount of pain to a bearable level. This item cannot be purchase over the counter as it must be prescribed and fitted by a qualified doctor or dentist.

Another treatment option that has become more and more popular in recent years deals with TMJ exercises designed to strengthen the jaw and tongue muscles and re-align the jaw naturally. Results from this method have been astonishingly successful and this is now thought to be the first treatment method one should try if one has been diagnosed with TMJ. This is especially attractive since the cost to do these exercises is zero, the convenience of treatment at home is enormous, and the cure rate is high.
About the Author
Timothy Anderson writes for www.TMJ-cure.com and is a specialist in researching natural treatments for pain and discomfort. Download a free TMJ Treatment blueprint from www.TMJ-cure.com
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