A temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder can cause discomfort, headaches, and pain. In addition, you may have difficulties with eating, talking, or sleeping. Unfortunately, you may have a wait on your hands before you can see your TMJ dentist for your scheduled appointment. Here are some helpful TMJ relief tips that Chesterland, Ohio, residents can practice while waiting for their scheduled visit.
It’s entirely possible your TMJ pain can go away on its own. TMJ disorders can come from various sources; not all will leave you with a long-term issue. For example, some common causes of TMJ pain can stem from the following:
Sometimes the symptoms will fade. If that happens, you should still see a TMJ dentist to make sure you really had a temporary issue rather than a recurring one.
Your jaw needs rest. Eating hard, crunchy foods will give your jaw far too much of a workout. Eat soft foods and foods that don’t require a lot of chewing.
You should not chew gum. And, while you might use ice to help soothe your pain, you certainly should not eat it.
Also, avoid foods that would typically cause you to open your mouth too wide. Instead, eat smaller bites and portions.
The goal with heat or ice is to reduce inflammation, which will help to reduce pain. You may find relief from one or the other of these two extremes, but you might also want to try switching between the two every 15 minutes or so.
Choose a medication that targets pain, like acetaminophen, and one that deals with swelling and inflammation, like an NSAID. If you’re taking prescription medications for anything else, speaking to your healthcare provider before taking OTC pain medication is probably best.
Keep your jaw relaxed. Try to keep your teeth apart but avoid opening your mouth too wide or putting it through exaggerated movements. For example, avoid any yelling or elaborate singing routines.
Pay attention to what you’re doing when the pain increases or lessens. For example, if you lie on your stomach and the TMJ pain increases, then you know that laying on your back or side may bring a little relief.
As stress can lead to a TMJ disorder, practicing stress-relieving activities can sometimes help. Even if your TMJ pain doesn’t come from stress or anxiety, some mindful relaxation may help you better deal with the discomfort or pain.
You can easily combine many of these TMJ pain relief tips as you wait for your scheduled dentist appointment. You can also call the dental office to see what they recommend as well.
Brianne R. Fratantonio, MA, DMD, earned her dental degree from Case
University School of Dental Medicine and her Bachelor of Science and Masters in
from John Carroll University.
She is a member of the
American Dental Association (ADA),
Ohio Dental Association (ODA),
American Academy of Facial Esthetics,
Engel Institute of Dental Implants, and
is passionate about providing general dentistry services and building lasting patient
Nicholas R. Fratantonio, DDS, FAGD, received his postgraduate training at Case Western Reserve University Dental School. He is a member of the ADA, ODA, Northeast Ohio Dental Society, International Association of Orthodontics, American Orthodontic Society, American Association of Functional Orthodontics, and International College of Cranio-Mandibular Orthopedics, a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, and a Past President of the Northeastern Ohio Neuromuscular Study Club.
Daniela Diaz, DMD, earned her doctorate from Case Western Reserve University and took part in an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Internship at MetroHealth Medical Center. She keeps updated with the latest technologies and follows various continuing education courses to expand her skills. Dr. Diaz is a member of the ADA, ODA, American Association for Women Dentists, Hispanic Dental Association, and Greater Cleveland Dental Society (GCDS).
Trudy Amstadt, DDS, is a graduate of the School of Dental Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. She has followed advanced courses in cosmetic dentistry, dentures, crowns and bridges, occlusion, and neuromuscular dentistry. She has memberships with the American Dental Society, ODA, GCDS0, and various study clubs.