8 Effective Tips to Help Ease Your TMJ Pain
If you have been experiencing prolonged headaches, jaw pain, or toothaches, it might be a good idea to get yourself checked for TMJ pain. TMJ, or temporomandibular joints, are the connections between the skull and the lower jaw, held together by muscles and ligaments. Arthritis, injuries, or dislocation can cause TMJ disorders and manifest as TMJ pain, ringing in the ears, and neck pain.
8 Tips to Relieve TMJ Pain Relief
TMJ pain can be quite inconvenient. Surgery is the last resort for severe TMJ pain, and minor symptoms can be easily treated at home or by seeing a dentist.
Wondering how to relieve TMJ pain without surgery? Here are a few tips:
1. Improve your posture
Improper posture is one of the most common causes of TMJ pain. Using a chair with back support while working for long hours can go a long way in alleviating TMJ pain. It is also helpful to take frequent breaks from sitting or standing for prolonged periods.
Some other ways to improve your posture include:
- Sit upright while driving or during other activities
- Avoid cramped-up spaces
- Use a pillow to support your back
Raising your chest bone by pulling back your shoulders and lightly squeezing your shoulder blades can also help alleviate TMJ pain. Try to rest your jaws and reduce wide jaw movements, including yawning, chewing, and shouting.
2. Reduce stress
Stress is another causative factor for TMJ pain, so try your best to minimize it. Meditation is an excellent way of relieving stress while aligning your mind and body for healthier living. Yoga can help loosen your muscles and provide TMJ pain relief.
As one of the vital aspects of healthy living, getting quality sleep can help you with TMJ pain. Sleeping on your back and using comfortable pillows to support your neck can help minimize the pain. If you prefer sleeping on your side, avoid placing your hand on your jaw.
4. Be mindful of bad habits
Certain habits can cause or worsen TMJ pain. These include:
- Chewing your lips and cheeks
- Clenching or grinding teeth
- Clenching your jaw muscles for long
- Pushing your tongue against your teeth
- Resting your jaw on your hands for prolonged periods
5. Use hot and cold compress
Cold compresses can reduce swelling and pain, while heat is beneficial for improving blood circulation in the affected area, thus relaxing muscle stiffness.
6. Jaw exercise
Exercising your jaw can be an effective way of TMJ pain relief. Jaw exercises improve blood circulation in the affected area and increase the mobility of your joints, thereby reducing stiffness.
7. Avoid certain foods
Certain types of food can put unnecessary strain on your jaw muscles, causing TMJ pain to increase. Avoid food that can cause your jaws to overwork, like opening your mouth forcefully or moving it in an extreme way. Avoid the following if you suffer from TMJ pain:
- Crunchy or hard foods
- Chewing gum or food items that might require more chewing
- Taking larger bites of food
8. Visit your dentist
Though mild TMJ pain can be dealt with at home with the tips mentioned above, severe or chronic TMJ disorders require professional intervention. At Smile Arizona Dentistry, we offer non-surgical and non-invasive TMJ treatment using state-of-the-art modern technology to relieve your pain.
TMJ disorder and the resulting pain can disrupt your daily activities. If TMJ pain is causing you distress, contact us today to book an appointment. We are your local dental experts serving Arizona communities like Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, and Phoenix for more than two decades. Call us at (480) 994-5225 today!