5 Ways to Seek Relief from TMJ Pain
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, between 11 and 12 million Americans suffer from TMJ disorders. TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the jaw joint. The good news is that there are several things you can do at home to find relief. Here are four of the best TMJ relief methods.
1. Jaw Stretches
Stretching your jaw muscles may help to reduce pain and tension. To do a simple jaw stretch, open your mouth wide and hold it for 30 seconds. You can also try placing your fingers on your cheeks and moving your jaw up and down.
2. Correct Your Posture
Poor posture can put a strain on your jaw and cause TMJ pain. Make sure you're sitting up straight and avoiding any activities that require you to hunch over, such as using a computer or reading a book. Taking regular breaks to walk around and stretch your body will also help.
3. Hot/Cold Compresses
Applying heat or cold to the affected area can also help to relieve pain and inflammation. Try alternating between a hot and cold compress for 20 minutes at a time.
4. Adequate Sleep
Getting enough rest is important for overall health, but it can also help manage TMJ pain. When you sleep, try to keep your head elevated with a pillow so that your jaw is in line with the rest of your body. You may also want to avoid sleeping on your stomach since this can strain your neck and jaw.
Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
You may have a TMJ disorder if you experience pain in your jaw, face, or head that's worse when you move your mouth. The most common symptom of TMJ disorder is pain in the jaw, but other symptoms may include:
- Pain in the face
- Ear pain
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Clicking or popping sound when you move your jaw
- Difficulty chewing or biting food
- Feeling like your jaw is locked in place
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, you must see a doctor or dentist so they can properly diagnose and treat the condition.
Visit Dentistry By Design
If you're looking for long-term relief, visiting a dentist specializing in TMJ disorders is essential. At Dentistry By Design, we'll work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that meets your unique needs. Fill out our online form or give us a call at (931) 771-8500 today!