How to Treat Your TMJ Pain
Posted on 11/15/2015 by Dr. Lovrovich
Pain within the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is quite common. There are a variety of treatment options available depending on the cause of your problem. If you are suffering from TMJ pain, there are several home and traditional treatment options available to help with your discomfort.
Home Treatment Options for TMJ Pain
Before you seek orthodontic treatment, there are several home care options that could help with your TMJ pain:
- Use cold packs or warm heat. Apply an ice pack or warm towel to the side of your face after performing a few simple jaw stretches.
- Eat soft foods. Mashed potatoes, soup, scrambled eggs, and other soft foods can require less pressure onto your TMJ.
- Take over-the-counter medications. NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen can relieve swelling and muscle pain.
- Try relaxation techniques. Your dentist may recommend relaxation tips to loosen the jaw.
- Keep your teeth apart slightly. This can relieve jaw pressure, as can placing your tongue between your teeth in order to control grinding and clenching throughout the day.
Traditional Treatments for TMJ Pain
If home remedies and lifestyle changes don’t help with your TMJ pain, you may be in need of a more structured treatment method:
- Injections. Corticosteroid injections into the TMJ could be helpful, as the injection of Botox into the jaw muscles could provide pain relief.
- Mouth guards. If your TMJ pain is due to grinding or clenching, you may need a mouth guard to prevent the top and bottom teeth from touching.
- Surgery. If your jaw pain doesn’t resolve with conservative treatment options and a structural problem is to blame, surgery may be needed to replace or repair the joint.
- Dental work. You may need to have missing teeth replaced or use crowns, braces, or bridges in order to balance out your teeth and correct a bite problem.
If you are experiencing pain when you open your mouth wide, speak, or chew, specifically in the jaw joint area, you may be dealing with TMJ pain. Please contact us about treatment options that might be right for you.