4 Ways To Manage Your TMJ Pain

Suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ can cause a fair amount of pain. That pain can make everyday actions such as chewing and even yawning a little painful. If you suffer from TMJ, there are steps you can take to reduce the pain outside of the formal treatment your dentist provides you with.

#1: Get Enough Sleep

First, you need to make sure you get enough sleep every night. Establish a weekly routine that you stick to every night to help you fall asleep.

When it is time for you to go to sleep, try to sleep on your back, and use extra pillows to support your neck. If you sleep on your side, use pillows to support yourself and keep your hand away from your jaw.

Avoid sleeping on your stomach, as that can put extra pressure on your jaw that will further exacerbate the pain.

#2: Use Compresses

Second, use compresses to deal with the pain. Both hot and cold compresses can be useful with TMJ. A cold compress can help reduce the pain and swelling if you hold the compress in place for about fifteen to twenty minutes. A hot compress, held in place for the same amount of time, can work to increase your blood flow and relax your jaw muscles.

#3: Use a Mouth Guard

Third, many people who suffer from TMJ tend to clench or grind their teeth when they sleep. That is why wearing a mouthguard can be helpful. You are going to want to use a custom mouth guard that will protect your teeth from damage. You can work with your dentist to get a custom mouthguard or other TMJ dental treatment made to help ease the tension in your mouth.

#4: Exercise Your Jaw

Fourth, you are going to want to work your jaw out. Exercising your jaw can help to increase the mobility in your jaw. There are three types of jaw exercises that you should engage in: stretching exercises, relaxation exercises, and strengthening exercises. Your dentist can give you a list of exercises and can demonstrate how to do these exercises correctly.

If you suffer from TMJ, you will want to talk to your dentist about your condition. Your dentist may work on interventions to help you out and may even suggest physical therapy. If that doesn't work, you can always undergo oral surgery to help with the condition.