How to Prevent TMJ Disorder in Older Adults

The temporomandibular joint happens to be a hinge that links your jaw to the skull’s temporal bones that are in frontal portion of each other. It permits you move the joint side to side and up and down. This way you can chew, talk and yawn, too.

With age the forte of the jaw diminishes which is usually caused by the worsening of the parts that connect the jawbone with the skull. When the components of the jaw reduce, it can end up in a painful condition that is referred to as the (TMJ) temporomandibular joint disorder. This condition is known to enhance among the people as they age.

Reasons for Increasing Effects of TMJ as You Age

The TMJ is frequently found in the older adults because the smaller discs that absorb the shock which can erode or move out of the right position. Added to that, the damaged cartilage or arthritis can also result in the TMJ symptoms. With this condition, the hinge connecting the upper and lower jaw does not function correctly or gets damaged. As a result of that, the lower jaw tends to retreat.

The dental restorations like the dentures and crowns can also result in TMJ if one does not have them placed correctly. The dentures can also lead to TMJ as the teeth can call to be replaced. For this reason, the dentures must be properly fitted to the teeth as well as the mouth.

Symptoms of the TMJ

The symptoms of the TMJ include the following.

  • Common debilitating stiff shoulders, neck aches, headaches, pain in the areas of jaw and nearby locations like temple, ears and cheeks
  • Jaw locking, jaw popping, jaw or joint related discomfort, decreased movement while speaking and chewing
  • Sound sensitivity
  • Vertigo or Enhanced dizziness
  • Jaw clenching or teeth grinding which possibly results in muscle spasms
  • Clicks and other jaw noises as buzzing in the ear

How is TMD Diagnosed?

Many ailments cause symptoms similar to TMJ like the sinus problems, tooth decay, gum disease or arthritis. To figure out what is tormenting you, the dentist can ask the health history and conduct the physical exam. Added to that, the BITE tests can also be conducted together with MRI, CT scans and Xrays.

Treatment for TMJ

Here are some of the treatments for the TMJ. Just take a look.

  • Orthodontics – Certain orthodontic devices can assist in reducing the muscle spasms and teeth grinding. The dental splints and the night guards can also assist in this case.
  • Jaw Exercises – The TMJ symptoms can be relieved by improving the motion range and exercising the joint. The physiotherapy exercises can include the messages, heat treatments and the ultrasounds are ideal ways for improving the jaw improvements.
  • Resting the Joint – There are various relaxation techniques that can assist you to rest the jaw and ease the TMJ pain. This is often coupled with the stress-reduction techniques. Resting can comfort the pain that is related with the TMJ. The various relaxation techniques can assist that can with this condition like holding your breath for the count of 5 and then exhaling. This sluggish form of breathing will assist in relieving the tension that can lead to the TMJ symptoms to flare up.
  • Injections or Surgery – The severe cases of TMJ can require surgery for repairing the joint. The botox injections or steroids can also be used to decrease the symptoms like inflammation.
  • Pain Medication – The medication therapy including the antidepressants, muscle relaxers or painkillers can assist to decrease the TMJ-related pain.

Home Treatments for TMD

There are certain things that can be self-conducted to get relief from the TMJ symptoms. Your TMJ specialist may suggest you try some of these together.

  • Use the Moist Cold or Heat Packs
  • Keep the Face Relaxed with Teeth apart and Lips Together
  • Eat the Soft Foods
  • Get Rid of Extreme Jaw Movements
  • Avoid Clenching or Grinding of Teeth and Minimise the Hard Foods in the Diet and Chew Gums
  • Don’t Rest the Chin on the Hand or Hold the Phone between the Neck and the Face
  • Learn the Techniques of Relaxation

The above are some of the ways in which you can control the TMJ or TMD which worsens with age. You should consult with the best TMJ specialist in NYCwho can guide you with the right treatments for handling your TMD or TMJ.