Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain is a common issue that many adults face. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that 11 to 12 million people are affected by it. Your local dental office can help to diagnose the condition and provide a range of solutions for TMJ pain. Let’s review some solutions your dentist may recommend.
Exercise and Stretching
Exercising the muscles surrounding your TMJ can help reduce pain levels. Neck exercises, such as rotating your head or performing lateral bends with your chin tucked inwards, are an effective way to improve your condition. Moreover, stretching is also beneficial. The movement helps relax tight muscles that may be preventing your jaw from opening and closing properly.
Applying hot or cold compresses to the affected area can be a helpful way of managing TMJ pain. Heat helps improve circulation around the joint, whereas cold is better for reducing inflammation. Make sure to use a cloth or similar material between the compress and your skin to avoid potential injury.
Massaging the muscles surrounding your TMJ can help reduce tension-related pain. Try massaging with your fingers and palms in a circular motion, focusing on the areas where you feel pain. If it is too difficult to do it yourself, you can always visit a certified massage therapist for specialized treatment.
Sometimes, TMJ pain can be caused by how you chew or bite your food. Avoid hard or chewy foods and stick to softer options, such as cooked vegetables and soft fruits. This soft diet will help reduce the amount of stress in your jaw muscles.
Splints are oral appliances that can be used to keep your jaw in a specific position to reduce pain and help you with your TMJ disorder. Your dentist may conduct a few tests to determine if this is the best solution. If this is the case, the dental office will provide you with a custom-made splint that should fit comfortably in your mouth.
These are only some of the available solutions for dealing with TMJ pain. If none of these work, if the symptoms get worse, or if the pain is unceasing, you should consider visiting your local dental office specializing in TMJ. Professional care will help assess your condition and provide the best treatment plan for you. Contact Bright Side Dental today to take the next step in TMJ pain recovery!