The temporomandibular joint, commonly known as TMJ, is a hinge connecting the jaw to the temporal bones of the skull, which are found in front of each ear. The TMJ enables a person to move their jaw up and down and side to side so that they can yawn, talk, and chew.
On the other hand, when a person experiences problems with their jaw and the muscles in the face that control them, that condition is known as temporomandibular disorder or commonly known as TMD. The term TMJ and TMD are two different things; the latter refers to the disorder itself and not the other way around.
Home remedies for TMD
There are several things a person can do by themselves in order to help relieve the symptoms of TMD. We at Allen Dentistry encourage patients to try some of the remedies below.
Take over-the-counter medications
A person experiencing TMD may take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help relieve muscle pain and swelling.
Eat soft foods
People suffering from TMD have difficulty chewing or swallowing, or even opening their mouth wide. That is why eating soft foods such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, soup, and more is highly encouraged.
Avoid extreme jaw movements
Minimize or avoid any jaw movements that force the mouth to open wide like yawning, chewing, or talking.
Use moist heat or cold packs
Place an ice pack to the side of the face and temple area for about ten minutes. When done, place a warm towel or washcloth to the side of the face for about five minutes. Do this a few times each day.
Learn relaxation techniques
Learn some relaxation techniques to help loosen up the jaw. Consult the dentist if physical therapy or massage is needed.
Practice good posture
Practicing good posture can help lessen the neck and facial pain. When answering the phone, never hold the phone between the shoulder and ear.
Keep the teeth slightly apart
Keeping the teeth slightly apart reduces pressure to the jaw. It is best to put the tongue in between the teeth to prevent it from clenching or grinding all day.
If any of the remedies above don’t help, it is best to contact us at Allen Dentistry so we can diagnose the specific cause and provide the necessary treatment.
Experiencing excruciating pain that gets in the way of using the jaw properly? Don’t wait any longer, seek professional assistance! Book your appointment immediately at Allen Dentistry for TMJ/TMD Treatment in Allen, TX.