A temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder occurs when there is a discomfort or pain in your jaw caused by something gone wrong with your jaw joints and muscles. Injury to the jaw, arthritis, and overuse of the jaw are some of the common causes of TMJ pain. On the bright side, there are plenty of ways you can manage your TMJ pain, including mouth exercises and over-the-counter medication.
To manage your TMJ pain, utilize any of the following points:
- Use over-the-counter medications like Ibuprofen to reduce pain.
- Wear a mouthguard to help realign your mouth and jaw.
- Ice your jaw, but no more than 15 minutes at a time.
- Warm towels reduce swelling if it’s there.
- Try acupuncture to relieve pressure in the affected area.
You can also try jaw exercises to help relieve TMJ pain. Certain exercises are supposed to strengthen joints, relax the jaw, and increase jaw healing. Here is a detailed description of each exercise.
- Relaxed Jaw Exercise – Gently place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and slowly drop your bottom jaw while you relax your jaw muscles.
- Chin Tuck Exercise – Pull your chin straight back as if you’re creating a double chin and hold for three seconds and repeat.
- Side-To-Side and Forward Jaw Movement – Slowly move your jaw from side to side repeatedly and then slowly move your bottom jaw back and forward repeatedly.
You might feel some pain with these exercises but that is a normal side effect. However, if your pain increases while doing these exercises, stop practicing them right away. If your pain worsens after the TMJ exercises, make an appointment with your dentist or doctor.
It is possible for TMJ pain to go away on its own. If it gets worse, call (512) 263-8900 and schedule an appointment today.
If you have been struggling with the long-term joint and jaw pain, it might be time for you to visit us at C & C Dentistry. Temporomandibular joint syndrome or TMJ is pain in the joint of your jaw that is caused by a variety of medical issues. Symptoms of TMJ pain include pain or tenderness of the jaw, pain in the temporomandibular joints, pain around your ear, difficulty chewing, aching on the face, or locking of the jaw. If there is no pain or limitation of movement of the jaw, you are most likely not affected by TMJ pain.
TMJ problems can be resolved on their own but sometimes they require a visit to your neuromuscular dentist. If it’s going to be a while before you can see a dentist, you can safely treat your TMJ pain on your own until your visit. Make sure to care for your TMJ pain with these simple therapies.
- Use ice packs to reduce inflammation and numb pain.
- Limit the use of hard, crunchy foods. Replace with a soft diet.
- Refrain from sleeping on the side of your face with the pain. Avoid applying pressure on the pain, in general.
- Use a heat pack or a warm, moist towel to reduce pain.
- Avoid chewing gum, jaw clenching, and grasping your cell phone with your jaw.
Seek medical attention if the TMJ is persistent or if you’re facing difficulty with opening and closing your jaw. At C & C Dentistry, we will make sure to discuss the causes and treatments of your TMJ pain. If you think you may be suffering with TMJ pain, please call (512) 263-8900 or visit our website at candcdentistry.com.
If you suffer from TMJ pain, you most likely experience pain and popping noises when you chew, yawn, or even talk. The pain is often felt in the jaw area but can also be felt in the head and around the ears. In order to alleviate some of the pain of TMJ, a change in diet may be necessary. Avoid the following foods that enhance pain in the joints and jaw.
Avoid chewy foods that cause your jaw to work overtime. These foods include gum, steak, candy, and much more. The repetitive motion of your jaw will likely aggravate your TMJ pain.
Keep your jaw strain-free by avoiding crunchy foods like popcorn, fried chicken, chips, and tacos. These foods can cause pain in the jaw because of the intensity of the bite.
You may be surprised to learn that you should exclude fatty foods as well when you’re experiencing TMJ pain. Omit all fried food and pastries from your diet to prevent inflammation in your body.
When you are suffering from TMJ pain, you may not be allowed to open your mouth bigger than a few inches so large pieces of food such as fruit and sandwiches could be difficult to consume. Cut your food into smaller pieces.
Change your diet to include soft foods such as soup, bananas, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and fish. Include as much fruits and vegetables in your diet as possible but make sure your vegetables are not raw but cooked to a soft texture. Not only will your mouth love you for it, but your body will too.
If you believe you may be suffering from TMJ pain, give C & C Dentistry a call at (512) 263-8900.
Teeth grinding is a problem that is quite common. It happens to everyone at least occasionally. If it’s just now and then, teeth grinding (official term: “Bruxism”) does not usually cause too much damage to your mouth, jaw or teeth. But if you grind your teeth regularly, you may be hurting your teeth and causing other oral and facial problems.
Most people grind their teeth in their sleep due to stress and anxiety. Because it happens when you are sleeping you might not even notice. But if you wake up with a headache, sore jaw or even cracked teeth, you may be a repeat offender and need some help.
Besides bite problems, broken and loose teeth and headaches, teeth grinding will eventually wear your teeth down over time, causing the need for crowns, root canals, or other expensive dental work. Some people (in extreme cases) have suffered hearing loss, increased TMJ and even a change in their facial appearances.
If you fall into these categories, give us a call so that we can examine your teeth and see if there is any damage or potential problems. You might be fitted for a grinding guard (also called Night Guard) to protect your teeth and jaw while you sleep. Just think, spending a little time with us now can save you, your mouth and your wallet a lot in the future.