Jaw pain isn’t something you want to ignore. While there are a number of at-home treatments you can use to help prevent or alleviate pain in your temporomandibular joints (TMJ), it’s crucial to get to a dentist in Stratford for an evaluation before the pain spreads to other parts of your body. TMJ treatment from a dentist will help prevent additional challenges that can result from TMJ disorder like migraines, earaches, and neck and shoulder pain.
What Is TMJ?
TMJ, also known as Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome, is tightness and inflammation of the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. TMJ symptoms include:
- Inability to completely open the mouth
- Jaw gets “stuck” open or closed
- Clicking sound when the mouth is opened
TMJ is caused by an unusual amount of pressure on the jaw. Actions that cause TMJ include frequent gum chewing, teeth grinding and misalignment of the teeth or jaw.
TMJ Treatment Options
In between your Bridgeport dentist appointments, try these at-home remedies for TMJ pain relief.
- Soft Foods: Opt for foods that are easy to chew to prevent TMJ pain. Foods like mashed potatoes, applesauce, and yogurt are good options if you’re in pain or attempting to manage it. It’s also a good idea to avoid sticky foods, even chewing gum, to prevent aggravating your TMJ symptoms.
- Jaw Exercises: TMJ symptoms can be addressed with jaw stretches and other face movement exercises. Ask your Stratford dentist about jaw exercises you can do at home to stretch your jaw muscles. Your dentist can also share massage techniques to help pinpoint the areas of pain and offer relief.
- Stress Management: Stress is a main contributor to enhanced TMJ pain. When you learn and implement stress management techniques at work and home, you’ll be less likely to intensify your TMJ symptoms. Deep breathing, meditation, and yoga are a few stress management practices to consider.
- Limit Extreme Jaw Movement: Overusing your jaw muscles can result in jaw strain. Shouting and yawning are two examples of extreme jaw movement that may intensify TMJ pain.
- Hot Or Cold Therapy: Temperature-based TMJ treatment can help loosen the jaw muscles and provide pain relief. Use moist, warm heat packs or covered ice packs to help relax your jaw muscles. Ask your dentist how long to use the therapy and if you should alternate the hot and cold treatment options.
- Bite Guard: Your dentist in Bridgeport may recommend a stabilization splint, or bite guard, to prevent grinding or clenching your teeth. The guards are plastic and fit over your upper and lower teeth. A bite guard is designed to keep your teeth from touching so you avoid increased TMJ pain.
A holistic approach to treating TMJ pain at home includes the use of essential oils. Peppermint oil is great for pain relief, while frankincense oil reduces inflammation and lavender oil relaxes the jaw muscles. Add one drop of each oil to ¼ tsp of coconut oil and massage into area of pain.
TMJ treatment in Bridgeport and Stratford is available with the DeJesus Dental Group. Don’t live with TMJ pain. Schedule an appointment and let’s review your treatment options.