Throughout your day, you smile, talk, laugh, and eat. All of these actions use the muscles in your face and jaw and are made daily without thought. However, if you are a temporomandibular disorder (TMJ) sufferer, these seemingly simple movements may cause you significant amounts of pain. Luckily, there are many options for at-home TMJ treatment near you.
TMJ and Jaw Pain
The muscles that you use daily to move your mouth when you speak and eat are connected to your temporomandibular joints, which are the joints that connect your lower jawbone to your skull. TMJ can cause painful locking in your jaw, neck pain, headaches, and ringing in your ears (tinnitus). For many individuals, TMJ symptoms are not long-lasting, but for those who suffer from chronic TMJ, pain and discomfort can be made worse by chewing, swallowing, speaking, and teeth grinding and clenching.
Ways to Relieve Pain Caused by TMJ
In mild cases of TMJ, you may be able to find relief without visiting a dentist near you. Here are some things you can do at home to ease the symptoms caused by TMJ.
#1 Maintain the Resting Position of Your Jaw
Minimize wide jaw movements as much as possible, including chewing, yawning, singing, and yelling. Make a conscious effort to keep your jaw muscles as relaxed as you can.
#2 Fix Your Posture
A lot of people don’t realize the importance of maintaining good posture. Sitting in a poor position for long periods can worsen the pain you feel in your jaw. When you are working, use a chair that provides back support and try to take breaks often. If you are driving, set your seat to be upright. While watching television or reading, choose to sit in a space that allows you to sit upright and place a pillow behind your back for extra support. To correct your posture, try to sit with your chest bone raised, and your shoulders pulled back.
#3 Reduce Stress
Stress is a cause of a lot of physical ailments in our bodies. You can try participating in yoga or meditation once a day to teach your mind and body to put less stress on your muscles.
#4 Exercise Your Jaw
Performing jaw exercises help increase mobility in your jaw joints. There are three types of jaw exercises that, when used together, help relieve pain:
- Relaxation exercises
- Stretching exercises
- Strengthening exercises
Speak to a dentist in Chapparal about the kinds of exercises that are safe and effective at treating TMJ.
#5 Notice Your Bad Habits
You may engage in some daily habits that worsen your TMJ without even realizing it. Some of these habits may include:
- Chewing your cheeks or lips
- Biting your nails
- Grinding or clenching your teeth
- Pushing your tongue against your teeth
- Resting your jaw in your hand
Try to be conscious of if you perform these habits during the day and take note of how often you tend to do them. You can discuss some of these habits with your dentist to see if they are contributing to your pain and if they can provide any advice or tools to help you stop them.
Other Options for TMJ Pain
For some individuals, these at-home remedies will not be enough to treat their TMJ pain. At Chapparal Dental Wellness, we offer TMJ treatment in Sundance. Our team will help you find relief with options such as TMJ splints and, in more severe cases, surgery. Please contact our clinic today to book an appointment for TMJ treatment near you.