Do you or someone that you know suffer from TMJ syndrome?
TMJ syndrome, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is a condition affecting the hinge that connects your upper and lower jaw. It prevents the hinge from functioning properly, which can lead to a variety painful symptoms.
TMJ syndrome can cause pain while chewing and lead to headaches. You may even notice pain or pressure behind the eyes or experience earaches.
Unfortunately, there is not a cure for TMJ syndrome. But, there are ways to treat the symptoms and reduce the pain.
Here are several suggestions to help you learn how to get relief from TMJ syndrome.
Use Hot and Cold Compresses
Heat can help improve blood circulation and relax your muscles. This can offer moderate, temporary pain relief.
To apply heat, use a hot pack or a hot water bottle. Wrap the pack or bottle in a moist towel and place against your jaw.
Don’t use extreme heat. You should be able to place the hot pack against your skin without causing irritation. If it is too hot, you can wait until the pack cools.
Cold compresses can help decrease inflammation, while also numbing the pain. As with the hot pack, the cold pack shouldn’t be placed directly against your skin.
Wrap an ice pack in a towel or clean cloth. Also, don’t use for more than 15-minutes at a time.
Both hot and cold compresses can offer pain relief. But, they shouldn’t be used for long periods. To maximize the advantages of these two methods, you can alternate between hot and cold several times during the day.
Eliminate Hard or Crunchy Foods from Your Diet
Another solution TMJ pain relief is to cut back on hard, crunchy, or chewy foods. Reduce the amount of chewing, to reduce the strain on your jaw.
At the same time, you should avoid opening your mouth too wide. Go easy on your jaw. As with any injured body part, you want to limit activity.
Perform Jaw Exercises to Improve Mobility
Jaw exercises can not only provide pain relief, they can help improve mobility and promote healing. Your dentist or health care provider should help you choose jaw exercises as a form of physical therapy.
There are also relaxation techniques that you can use. Meditation, massage, and yoga can relax your mind and body, which can help relax tight jaw muscles.
Additional Tips for Reducing Pain from TMJ Syndrome
The main solution for combatting pain from TMJ syndrome is to avoid over-using your jaw. You should avoid clenching your jaw and yawning.
Treat your TMJ syndrome like any other injury and reduce strain put on your jaw.
You may also want to consider taking over-the-counter analgesics. You can get temporary pain relief from your jaw discomfort with mild muscle relaxants, pain medications, and anti-inflammatory medications.
Though, you should always consult with a dentist or health care provider before taking medications – especially if you’re already seeking treatment.
These suggestions should help you obtain relief from TMJ syndrome and its symptoms. But, everyone is different. Results can vary, based on the severity of your condition.
If you would like further advice or treatment for TMJ syndrome, contact Next Dentistry today to schedule your next appointment.