How to Find Relief from TMJ
If you have a tight jaw or suffer from TMJ, chronic aches and pains are a common symptom that can be difficult to treat. Sometimes the symptoms will go away on their own, but when they persist, the pain can become excruciating without proper treatment. To find relief from TMJ, here are 7 things you can do to dissipate and even eliminate the symptoms.
Wear A Mouth Guard
Your first line of defence is wearing a mouth guard. It will help to realign your jaw while you sleep and prevent any teeth grinding or jaw clenching from occurring. These are custom made to fit your jaw and hold the mandible area in a forward position to reduce the strain on your jaw bones and muscles.
Take Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Pain relievers and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs can help counteract any pain and tenderness in the jaw area. However, if the pain is consistent and reoccurring, you may want to try getting a stronger prescription or muscle relaxers from your doctor.
Use Cold or Warm Compression
Placing cold or warm packs on the side of your face close to your jaw can help to reduce inflammation and pain. Just leave it on for 15 minutes, several times a day for added relief.
Avoid These Things
Those with TMJ are more sensitive to hard foods. It’s in your best interest to cut out things like hard candy, chewy and seed-infused foods, and to cut up certain fruits like apples that can place a lot of pressure on your jaw. Nail biters should also consider getting an anti-bite polish to prevent putting more stress on the jaw. Chewing gum produces repetitive jaw movements that can also inflame your TMJ.
Try Physical Therapy
Your dentist may also suggest certain treatments and techniques can relieve pressure in the TMJ. Acupuncture and massage can help to stretch the muscles and target pain points. A chiropractor or behavioural therapist can help you ease muscle pain.
Massage Your Facial Muscles
Gently rubbing the muscles that are located next to your ear can help increase blood flow and reduce any muscle tightness in the area. For best results, massage this area several times a day and before bed.
Discuss Surgical Options
When treatment doesn’t provide you with the relief you need, your dentist might recommend surgery as the next option. If you need surgery, you will be referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon with expertise in temporomandibular joint surgery.