Do you frequently experience jaw pain? Have you noticed reduced mobility in your jaw, or hearing a clicking sound when you chew?
If so, you’re not alone. 33% of the population who experiences at least one symptom of a TMD, or a temporomandibular disorder.
The temporomandibular joint, commonly referred to as the TMJ, connects the lower jaw (mandible) to bone on the side of your skull (temporal bone). The TMJ is responsible for moving the jaw from side to side, as well as up and down.
Common symptoms of TMJ disorders include:
- Pain in the jaw or back teeth.
- Headaches or migraines.
- Ear, neck, or backache.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Restricted movement.
- Tinnitus, or “ringing in the ears.”
- A clicking or popping sound when chewing or speaking.
Issues with the TMJ can result from a variety of physical issues such as teeth grinding, injury, infection, or surgery. TMJ disorders can also be the result of autoimmune diseases, degenerative conditions, or environmental factors.
Many of those who suffer from TMJ can effectively manage their symptoms and pain from home. Making a few lifestyle changes can greatly reduce the painful effects that TMDs have on those who suffer mild-to-moderate symptoms.
- Reduce jaw movement by avoiding gum and other chewy foods.
- Avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the jaw.
- Massage affected muscles in the area.
- Use a mouthguard at night to prevent teeth grinding.
- Perform gentle at-home exercises for pain relief.
While most cases of TMJ are mild and manageable, in some cases they can be serious and long-term. If these exercises don’t help relieve TMJ-related pain, contact your dentist or doctor as soon as you can. Steroid injections, physical therapy or surgery could be needed in more severe cases.
Home Exercises to Relieve TMJ Pain
Try these low-impact resistance exercises for TMD pain relief:
1. Place your thumbs under your chin and index fingers in the area between the bottom of your chin and lips. Keep your mouth closed and gently apply downward pressure to the chin
2. To reverse, slowly open your mouth while gently pressing upward with your thumbs. Hold for 5 seconds before slowly closing your mouth.
3. Open and close the mouth slowly while maintaining contact between tongue and the roof of your mouth. Repeat multiple times.
See Your Dentist About TMJ Concerns
The celebrated team of dental professionals at Lone Tree Modern Dental & Orthodontics are available to address your TMJ concerns. Dedicated to patient care, we understand that visiting the dentist can be a stressful experience, and we’re here to help ease your pain.
In addition to exams, cleanings, and x-rays, we offer affordable emergency care and oral surgery services to the residents of Lone Tree, CO, and the surrounding areas. Contact our offices to schedule an appointment to meet with a dentist. The staff at Lone Tree Modern Dental & Orthodontics is ready to address your TMJ pain.