How to Fix TMJ Pain

September 29, 2022 5:27 pm

TMJ disorder (temporomandibular joint disorder) occurs when the joints that connect your lower jaw to the side of your skull are damaged, injured, inflamed, or otherwise malfunctioning. When the jaw joints aren’t working properly, it can contribute to a slew of symptoms and issues, such as:

  • Difficulty biting and chewing
  • Popping, clicking, and snapping when opening and closing the jaw
  • Facial and neck pain
  • Lockjaw
  • Migraines
  • Earaches
  • Teeth clenching & grinding

TMJ pain can be extremely uncomfortable and even debilitating. There are many things you can do to help alleviate your discomfort and improve your joint health. Here are our top tips for combatting TMJ pain!

Perform Gentle Jaw Exercises

Jaw exercises and massages can help target and alleviate TMJ-induced pain and symptoms. There are several simple jaw exercises you can do at home that may help you find relief:

  • Bite down horizontally on a clean, small wooden dowel then gently move your jaw in various directions
  • Open and close your mouth while your tongue rests on the roof of your mouth
  • Softly push your thumb under your chin to create some resistance while you open and close your mouth
  • Stand with your back against a wall and bring your chin forward to create a double chin and repeat

Use a Heating Pad on Jaw

More often than not, TMD causes the facial and jaw muscles to tense up. A warm compress or heating pad may help release tension in your muscles.

Prevent Neck Strain

One of the best ways to prevent straining your neck and further irritation of your joints is to practice good posture. If you sit at a desk most of the day, make sure you’re getting up often, stretching, and readjusting so you’re sitting up straight and using good ergonomics.

Avoid Chewy & Tough Foods

When your TMJs aren’t functioning properly, it can be extremely painful and potentially damaging to eat certain foods. We recommend staying away from hard candy, tough meats, and chewy, sticky foods. By eating softer foods that are easier to chew, you can reduce the amount of pressure placed on your joints so that they can fully heal. Additionally, do not open any packages with your teeth.

Consult with Our Team!

Do you think you may be suffering from TMD? At Ryan Dental, our experienced team can create a personalized treatment plan to address your TMJ pain and its root cause so you can get back to enjoying a pain-free smile. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation!


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