January 3, 2018
If you think you have a problem with your TMJ, or the temporomandibular joint that allows you to open and close your mouth, you need to see your Coral Gables dentist soon. Seeking a professional opinion and therapy is important for avoiding the long-term effects of the condition, like chronic pain, tingling extremities, and worn tooth enamel.
Before you can make it in for an appointment — or alongside professional treatment — it may be helpful to try some home remedies for TMJ as well. Keep reading to learn how a few different hacks and stretches can help reduce jaw discomfort to help you eat, speak, and smile with ease once again.
Watch What You Eat
During periods of TMJ pain, avoiding the foods that cause your jaw to have to work double time can help to reduce discomfort.
Stay away from the following items to prevent TMJ pain.
- Chewy candies
- Tough meat
- Biting into fresh apples (cut them up instead)
- Crunchy bread
- Chewing gum
And whatever you do choose to eat, make sure you’re cutting it into small pieces to reduce the amount of work your jaw has to do to get it down.
Use a Warm Compress
TMJ pain is likely to cause nighttime teeth grinding as well. When you’re not awake, you can’t control jaw clenching — and people who have pain in the jaw often experience weak or worn tooth enamel from repeated nighttime teeth grinding.
To prevent your jaw from overworking itself while you snooze, try applying a warm compress to the TMJ before you go to bed. Doing so will help the joint relax and reduce the chances it will clench throughout the night.
Try These Stretches
During times when you’re not having much TMJ pain, you can try some exercises and stretches to help strengthen your jaw.
Some of the exercises patients have had success using include:
- Place your thumb on the bottom of the jaw, then slowly open the mouth fully against the slight pressure.
- Place your index finger on the bottom teeth, then do the same motion — but in reverse.
- Bite down on a pen and roll it with your teeth from front to back.
Avoid Bad Habits
You may not realize that some of your little habits or tics are increasing your TMJ pain. Some of the habits that worsen jaw discomfort include:
- Nail biting
- Pen chewing
- Eating ice
- Chewing gum
Alongside professional treatment for TMJ pain, cut out these habits to reduce discomfort even further.
About the Author
Dr. Jose A. Bushdid has undergone extensive training in the treatment of TMJ disorders. He is well known for his passion and love of providing excellence in dentistry, and he looks forward to welcoming you into the Bushdid Smiles office. To learn more about your dentist in Coral Gables or to schedule an appointment, we invite you to contact Dr. Bushdid at (305) 444-5926.
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