The temporomandibular joint, also referred to as TMJ, is essential to the function of the jaw and enables its motion. There are two joints that connect the jaw to the skull, both of which are referred to as TMJ. When problems occur in this joint, it is known as TMD, or temporomandibular disorder. Thankfully, there are a number of effective treatment options that can provide relief, and even diminish symptoms completely.
How long does it take for TMJ to go away?
TMJ pain can last from a couple of hours to several days, and if left untreated, cases of TMJ disorder can become chronic and debilitating. The length of time that TMJ flare-ups take to go away depends on the person. Each case is unique and is determined by the root cause and if any treatment is currently being undertaken. It is possible to minimize the duration and intensity of TMJ flare-ups with the proper diagnosis and treatment.
TMJ flare-ups can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Injury or trauma
- Erosion in the jaw disc or joint
- Deterioration from arthritis
- Hormone levels
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Chewing of hard food
How long does it take to heal TMJ?
The time it takes for TMJ to heal depends on the person, the cause and the severity. Some people experience only temporary pain and discomfort that can be easily managed with home remedies like over-the-counter pain medication, hot and cold therapy, and massaging the area. However, others may experience pain long-term and require a more interventional solution.
TMJ pain caused by an injury typically subsidies as the injury heals. There is a good chance that the pain will go away on its own if the TMJ pain only started following a facial injury or other incident. This can take several days, or even as long as a few months.
Some medications can cause jaw pain and TMD, including medications for depression, anxiety and ADHD. These have been known to increase teeth grinding and can exacerbate TMJ symptoms. Many people are able to continue taking these medications and treat TMD at the same time. Do not stop taking medications without first consulting with your physician, even if you believe they are causing TMJ disorder. If you suspect your medications are causing or contributing to TMD, contact your prescribing physician.
What is the main cause of TMJ?
Recognizing the symptoms of temporomandibular joint and nerve pain is often easy, however it can be difficult to determine the underlying cause of the pain. Visiting a dentist who specializes in treating TMJ disorders is your best bet at determining what is causing TMJ pain. TMJ disorders can occur under the following situations:
- Arthritis damage in joint cartilage
- Disc erosion in the jaw
- A jaw injury like whiplash or a traumatic impact
- Grinding or clenching teeth (chronic)
- Stress or anxiety
- Unconsciously tightening facial and jaw muscles
- Poor posture
- Orthodontic braces
- Excessive use of chewing gum
- Connective tissue diseases that affect the temporomandibular joint
If you or someone you love has a temporomandibular joint disorder, come to Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders today. Our kind and compassionate professionals are specifically focused on treating TMJ disorders and can help you fix the root cause, rather than just the symptoms. We strive to deliver the highest level of care at each and every visit. Call us today to book an appointment. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from El Paso TX, Manhattan Heights TX, Colegio TX, Chavena TX, and Las Fuentes TX.