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How To Relieve TMJ Pain

You might not think about your temporomandibular joints much, but they help you perform several different functions daily. The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, connects your jawbone to your skull. Each time you chew, speak, and swallow, your TMJ helps you perform these actions. TMJ disorders occur due to an issue within the jaw joints and muscles. This can happen for a wide range of reasons, such as teeth grinding, a jaw injury, inflammatory conditions, or overuse of the jaw joints and muscles. If you suffer from TMJ pain, our dentists in Orlando can help!

Follow these helpful tips to help relieve your TMJ pain. Contact Thornton Park Dental Arts today to schedule an appointment and to learn more about our general dentistry services.

Woman Suffering From TMJ Pain

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TMJ conditions are prevalent worldwide. In fact, more than 35 million people are affected by TMJ disorders within the United States alone. If you suffer from symptoms, such as frequent headaches or migraines; tooth decay; chipped, cracked, or worn teeth; jaw pain; eye pain; ear pain; tooth damage; limited movement of your mouth; or clicking or popping sounds from your jaw, you may have a TMJ disorder. While in some cases, the symptoms of TMJ disorder go away on their own, many symptoms persist and require treatment from an Orlando dentist. Common TMJ disorder treatments include prescribed medications, over-the-counter pain relievers, and the use of a mouthguard and dental laser therapy. Contact us to learn more about our available treatments for TMJ disorder!

Correct Your Posture

There are several home remedies helpful for relieving TMJ pain. One of the best ways to manage this pain is practicing good posture. Sitting in an unideal position for significant amounts of time can exacerbate jaw pain and discomfort. Remedy this by selecting a chair with back support, frequently pausing to improve and correct your posture in the chair. You should also correct your posture while driving by setting your seat to be as upright as possible. While enjoying leisurely activities, such as sitting on the couch while watching TV or reading, place a supportive pillow behind your back for support. Try raising your chest bone, pulling your shoulders back, and gently squeezing your shoulder blades to straighten your back muscles. Practicing these exercises to improve your posture can likewise help alleviate TMJ pain.

Try TMJ Massage

A TMJ massage can help relieve your jaw pain. There are several types of TMJ massage you can try to determine which meets your needs for pain relief. A TMJ kneading massage provides constant, circular motion against the joints and muscles most affected by TMJ pain. Locate the muscles in your lower jaw (directly behind your molars and cheekbone) and then massage this area by pressing gently with two or three fingers, moving them in a circular motion. This exercise can help warm muscles and improve lymphatic functions, which flush out the build-up of accumulated waste. Another type of massage exercise, known as the TMJ stretching massage, is a low-impact resistance exercise that involves placing two thumbs parallel to your jawline and above your mandible muscles, pressing on the muscles and dragging your thumbs downwards against your jaw, and slowly stretching the muscle away from your upper jaw (maxillary).

Make TMJ-Friendly Dishes

Your diet can affect how much (or how little) TMJ-related pain you experience regularly. To maximize your mealtime for reduced pain, try planning your meals wisely throughout the week and opt for foods and fish that don’t cause too much friction or overexert your jaw muscles and joints. You can create your own recipes and infuse your meal plan with creativity. Whatever your TMJ meal plan comprises, we recommend that you stick with soft foods like mashed potatoes, soups, and puddings. Additionally, you should avoid any crunchy food items or those difficult to chew, such as chips, cereals, and hard candies. Try cutting your food into small, child-size bites to make the task of chewing significantly easier. Avoid eating foods that require you to open your mouth wide, such as hamburgers, pizza, and donuts, as this action can increase the level of TMJ pain you experience thereafter.

Reduce Your Stress

Stress, anxiety, and TMJ pain may not seem related, but they have a strong association. Clutter, overbooked plans, and endless to-do’s plague the lives of most individuals, and while it’s not totally reasonable to exercise every event, task, or situation that produces stress and anxiety, it’s important to make the changes you can to reduce your overall levels of stress and anxiety. The combination of stress/anxiety and TMJ disorder can be a recipe for extreme jaw pain. When stressed or anxious, we commonly tighten and clench our jaw muscles. A clenched jaw is a surefire way to increase TMJ pain. Thus practicing meditation, mindfulness, and other exercises designed to help you reduce your stress levels regularly effectively can make all the difference when it comes to TMJ-related pain and discomfort.

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