older man holds both hands to his upper

TMJ Disorder/
Jaw Pain Treatment

Does your jaw pop, click, or ache when you yawn or chew something tough? You may be suffering from temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMJ. TMJ refers to an issue with the jaw joint, and this disorder can have a number of different causes such as teeth grinding/bruxism, stress, or arthritis, but the most common factor is the bite itself. 

 

A misaligned bite places pressure on the jaw joint, forcing the muscles to work overtime to correctly align the upper and lower jaws. This not only compromises the function of your jaw but also causes a great deal of pain and fatigue in the facial muscles.
 
Professional treatments for TMJ disorder range from minor in-office procedures, taking medication, using bite guards, attending physical therapy or surgery, depending on the cause and the severity of your symptoms. Dr. LaVecchia will perform a thorough examination and help you choose the most conservative plan for your individual needs.

In the meantime, to soothe the symptoms at home, you can put cold packs on your jaw joint, use stress management and relaxation methods to reduce the tension on the jaw, eat soft foods and avoid chewing gum, and gently give yourself a massage around the jaw to provide some relief from the pain until you get to the dentist.