11 Ways to Help Manage Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

11 Ways to Help Manage Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Oct 01, 2022

As per the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, around 10 million people in America have TMJ disorders. These include infection in the TMJ, injury, arthritis, or dislocation. Temporomandibular disorders lead to jaw locking or achy clicking of the jaw, ringing in the ears, headache, and neck pain. The condition causes pain while performing everyday movements- talking, chewing food, laughing, and smiling.

TMJ treatment in Raritan, NJ ranges from at-home care to surgical. Making lifestyle changes may be sufficient if your TMJ disorder is due to a chronic condition like arthritis. But many people find their TMJ signs fade away or enhance on their own within several months or weeks upon the use of natural techniques.

How to Manage TMJ Symptoms?

If you have been diagnosed with TMJ disorder, follow these tips below:

1. Consume Soft Foods Only

Do not chew crunchy and hard foods because they make your symptoms worse. Rather, prefer soft foods like fish, mashed potatoes, soup, scrambled eggs, beans, grains, etc. You can even chop foods into tiny pieces so that you chew less.

2. Use a Cold or Hot Compress

Place a cold or hot compress on your jaw for 15 – 20 minutes. A cold compress can help you minimize the pain and swelling. On the other hand, a hot compress generates heat that enhances blood flow and makes the jaw muscles relaxed.

3. Quit Bad Habits

Do you clench your teeth and jaw muscles? Do you bite your nails? Do you rest your jaw in your hand? If you have these bad habits, speak with the TMJ specialist near you immediately.

4. Wear a Night Guard or Splint

Night guards and splints are essential mouth protectors designed to fit over the lower and upper teeth. These dental appliances fix your bite by putting the jaw in its correct place. The healthcare experts at Koren Family Dental can help you find which equipment is appropriate for you.

5. Perform Jaw Exercises

Many jaw exercises can help you enhance your joint mobility and ease your pain. These include strengthening exercises, stretching exercises, and relaxation exercises. After the exercise, hold a warm washcloth or towel to the side of the face for 5 to 10 minutes. Do this several times daily.

6. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is essential for maintaining perfect health. Using pillows and sleeping on the back help you reduce TMJ pain effectively. But do not sleep on the stomach. Avoid putting your hands on the jaw if you prefer to sleep on your side.

7. Minimize Stress

Try stress-relieving activities like yoga, meditation, gardening, etc. They are great for relaxing the face and jaw. It helps in putting less stress on the muscles.

8. Say No to Extreme Jaw Movements

Avoid performing extreme jaw movements like:

  • Holding the phone between your ears and shoulder.
  • Keep your teeth apart slightly as you can.
  • Maintain perfect posture.
  • Resting your chin on your hands.
  • Putting tongue between the teeth to manage tooth grinding or clenching in the daytime.
  • Avoid singing or doing anything that forces you to open your mouth wide.
  • Yelling or yawning.

9. Maintain a Good Posture

It is essential to sit in a perfect position. Doing this will help you prevent pain in the jaw, neck, and face. To correct your posture, take the following steps in mind:

  • While driving, put your seat in the upright position if possible.
  • While reading, watching TV or doing any other fun activity, select an area that allows you to sit upright. For support, you can also put a pillow behind your back.
  • Pick a chair offering back support when working. You can also take breaks in between work to refresh your mind and enhance your body posture.

10. Take Recommended Medicines

The healthcare provider can suggest anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal drugs. They help in easing swelling and pain associated with TMJ. The doctor will help you decide the best medicine for you, depending on your health history and physical state.

11. Physical Therapy

Using the relaxation methods is one of the Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction treatments that help to make the jaw lose. Sometimes, the doctor may suggest physical therapy like acupuncture, heat therapy, resistance exercises, cooling therapy, tissue mobilization, or stretches. Get in touch with the dentist to know if you require massage or physical therapy.

Book An Appointment

* Asterisk'ed field is a mandatory field to be filled out

Click to listen highlighted text!