Avoid hard, chewy, or firm foods that require a lot of force to chew. If you enjoyed a nice juicy steak last night and your TMJ is flaring up today, give it a rest. Stick to a soft diet until the symptoms die down. Avoid chewing gum.
If you’re experiencing a flare-up, use a warm compress with a 20-minutes on, 20-minutes off schedule for a few hours.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen are ideal for temporary pain relief. But don’t take them for more than a day or two.
A study from the Journal of Dental Research found that increasing the range of motion and strengthening the jaw muscles from TMJ exercises have to lead to increased jaw mobility.
Probably the most common TMJ treatment out there is to get fitted with a special mouth guard, nightguard, or bite splint. Since TMD is often due to clenching and grinding, a mouth guard can train your joints to relax during the day, lessening the strain on muscles and providing TMJ pain relief.
The best type of mouth guard to wear is one that’s made by your dentist. That way it stays in place and fits securely when you’re sleeping. Or your dentist can make you a smaller version that’s easier to wear when you’re a work.
Everybody has a TMJ, but only some people have TMD/TMJD. If you’re in pain or can’t open and close your mouth normally, the symptoms could mean TMJ disorder. See your dentist for a routine exam and make them aware of any TMD symptoms that you’re experiencing. They’ll screen you and recommend the most appropriate treatment.
From there, you can create an action plan for any TMJ pain relief, be it a mouth guard, orthodontics, physical therapy, or something else. Just don’t wait until the symptoms are so bad that you can’t eat.
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