Non-Surgical Practices to Help Minimize TMJ Pain

Chewing, yawning, yelling, and singing are some of the facial movements you do without strain. Unfortunately, the same actions may result in severe pain with Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction. Though TMJ pain is likely to resolve within a few days or weeks, depending on its severity, the pain may take longer when you forcefully use your jaw. The good news is, a surgical procedure is not the only treatment your doctor may recommend to relieve you from the dull, frustrating pain. Is your pain so severe that you cannot move your facial muscles but are afraid of the scalpel? If so, Commack TMJ/TMD experts at Chase Dental Sleepcare are the professionals to contact. These healthcare providers may recommend several non-invasive treatment options to help manage TMJ pain before trying advanced options.    

Non-invasive Practices to Minimize TMJ Pain

TMJ disorders may result in painful locking and clicking of your jaw. As a result, you may experience severe headaches, ringing in the ears, and neck pain.

Common causes of TMJ pain include:

·         Jaw trauma.

·         Dental surgery.

·         Autoimmune disease.

·         Infections.

TMJ pain does not necessarily require you to go for a surgical procedure. Sometimes your doctor may recommend non-invasive treatment options to relieve you from the debilitating pain. The options include:

Maintaining your jaw’s resting position

Avoid unnecessary jaw movements like yawning, yelling, chewing, and singing. Therefore, your doctor might suggest you rest your jaws as much as possible.

Avoid certain foods

Do not eat foods that might force you to open your entire mouth. You might refrain from eating large bites of foods, foods that require prolonged chewing, and chewing gum as they may cause you to indulge your TMJ forcefully. 

Watch out for bad habits

Habits likely to trigger TMJ pain include:

-Nail-biting.

-Clenching your teeth.

-Teeth grinding.

-Clenching your jaw muscles.

-Clasping your jaws in your hands.

Exercise your jaw

Exercising your jaw muscles helps increase jaw mobility. However, only your doctor can suggest the exercises. The three standard exercises your doctor may combine to relieve you of TMJ pain include:

-Relaxation exercises.

-Strengthening exercises.

-Stretch exercises.

Use heat or cold compresses

While ice minimizes pain and inflammation on the affected jaw, heat increases blood circulation, thus relaxing your tensed jaw muscles. Apply the cold or hot compress on your painful jaw for approximately 20 minutes with a thin layer between your skin and the compress.

Maintain an upright posture

Sitting in an inappropriate position for extended hours may cause your TMJ to hurt more. If you are working, select a seat that has back support. Additionally, you should take frequent breaks to enhance posture. Adjust your seat to an upright position when driving and have enough space that supports an upright position, using a pillow to support your back when doing leisure activities like watching TV or reading a book.   

TMJ exercises are safe and may work efficiently to relieve your painful symptoms. Additionally, they are easy, and you can do them in the comfort of your home with close supervision by your doctor. However, before any exercises, contact your doctor for more guidance. The professional will know the advanced treatments to recommend if the practices fail to give you maximum relief.  

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