TMJ is otherwise known as the temporomandibular joint disorder affects millions of people across the United States. TMJ causes pain in your jaw joint and the muscles that surround the joint, which controls jaw movement. TMJ can be caused by a number of different genetic and environmental factors such as teeth grinding, arthritis, a jaw injury etc. For some this pain can be easily managed through a few easy at-home remedies; however, for others, TMJ can be detrimental to their way of life and therefore they inquire for more serious treatment. Our team has put together a list of some practices you can employ to help relieve TMJ pain. If your persists you should reach out to a dentist for further consultation and treatment options.
1. Seek out a treatment plan with Dr. Alex.
In about 5 appointments Dr. Alex will consult with you and then design a custom treatment plan specifically to treat your TMJ discomfort. As one of the leading dentists, with extensive expertise in treating TMJ disorder Dr. Alex will be able to offer you long term TMJ pain relief through a TMJ treatment plan.
2. Ice your jaw
Many people are aware of the benefits of icing your muscles when they are fatigued or strained; so why not ice your jaw too? It is important to ice your jaw when it is feeling fatigued and sore. Icing your jaw for 20 minutes off and on throughout the day can help reduce inflammation and alleviate some of the pain from TMJD.
Over the counter, anti-inflammatory drugs can help offer temporary pain relief to those experiencing consistent TMJ pain.
4. Stress reduction and stress management techniques
TMJ is often caused or aggravated by jaw clenching. It is important to be hyper-aware of the daily stressors and activities associated with clenching and grinding and to try and reduce these stressful activities as much as possible. Additionally, instilling practices to relax and release the jaw during particularly stressful events can be beneficial to preventing pain.
5. Avoid chewing gum
The motion of chewing gum is not beneficial for those suffering from TMJ. If you are looking for a quick fix for bad breath, we would suggest a mint instead!
6. Bite guard or dental splint
A bite guard can be utilized for patients who have a tendency to grind their teeth while sleeping to help and prevent clenching and grinding.
7. Physical therapy
For some, exercising the jaw with prescribed movement can help strengthen, prevent and manage pain in the jaw. Nonetheless, it is extremely important to seek out the help of a professional with TMJ experience to help treat the disorders. Googling and practicing exercises found on the internet could actually lead to more pain resulting in the need for more serious treatment.
8. Orthotic appliances
Designed to place the jaw in the proper neuromuscular position, orthotic appliances are a great semi-permanent solution to relieving and preventing future TMJ pain. Dr. Alex has extensive experience with designing orthotic appliances to treat TMJ and will do a thorough examination and consultation with you to evaluate your jaw and neck muscle activity, the movement of your jaw, and the function of your TMJ joint.