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.