Smiling, laughing, speaking, chewing — these all are facial actions you make each day with little to no thought. However, when you’ve got temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), these easy actions could trigger you loads of ache.
“Whereas most TMD signs resolve in a number of weeks to months, some painful circumstances could be aggravated by sure behaviors or dangerous habits that pressure jaw and neck muscular tissues,” stated Diana Hearn, PT, DPT, OCS, chief for the Musculoskeletal staff and Temporomandibular Issues (TMD) Program at Penn Remedy & Health.
Luckily, there are issues you are able to do to alleviate and assist handle temporomandibular joint (TMJ) ache from the consolation of your own home.
Jaw Ache, TMJ and TMD
The muscular tissues and ligaments you utilize to maneuver your mouth hook up with your temporomandibular joints, which is the place your cranium and decrease jawbone meet. Temporomandibular issues, together with arthritis, dislocation, harm or an infection in your TMJ, could cause painful clicking and locking in your jaw, complications, neck ache and ringing in your ears.
For many individuals, TMD signs don’t final lengthy, however for others, ache and discomfort when transferring their facial muscular tissues is persistent (lengthy lasting) and could be made worse by clenching, chewing, swallowing, or grinding enamel over time.
TMJ Ache Aid: 8 Finest Practices
In minor instances, TMJ ache reduction is feasible with nonsurgical therapy choices, Hearn stated. Listed here are eight methods you’ll be able to assist relieve ache in your TMJ and handle signs with out surgical procedure:
Preserve the resting place of your jaw
To assist alleviate TMJ ache, decrease vast jaw actions, reminiscent of chewing, yawning, singing, and yelling. Do your greatest to maintain your muscular tissues as relaxed as doable.
Appropriate your posture
Sitting in an unideal place for lengthy intervals of time could cause you to really feel extra ache in your jaw.
When working, select a chair with again help and take frequent breaks to enhance your posture. Whereas driving, set your seat to be as upright as doable, and whereas doing leisure actions, reminiscent of watching TV or studying, select an area that permits you to sit upright and place a pillow behind your again for help.
Hearn suggests the next train to right your sitting or standing posture: Increase your chest bone, pull your shoulders again and gently squeeze your shoulder blades to straighten your again muscular tissues.
Get a very good evening’s sleep
Sleep is vital for a lot of points of fine well being. To assist decrease TMJ ache, sleep in your again and use pillows to help your neck. It is best to keep away from sleeping in your abdomen, and if sleeping in your aspect, don’t place your hand in your jaw.
Use a sizzling or chilly compress
Ice helps scale back swelling and ache, whereas warmth can enhance blood stream and calm down your jaw muscular tissues. Apply a sizzling or chilly compress to your jaw for 15 to twenty minutes at a time utilizing a lightweight layer between the compress and your pores and skin.
Cut back stress
Strive meditation methods to assist loosen and calm down your jaw. Yoga practices also can assist put much less stress in your muscular tissues, and gardening is a superb exercise to attempt to calm your thoughts and calm down your face.
Train your jaw
Jaw workout routines can assist enhance mobility in your joints. There are three sorts of jaw workout routines that can be utilized collectively to alleviate ache:
- Stretch workout routines
- Strengthening workout routines
- Rest workout routines
Take discover of dangerous habits
You could have a number of tendencies that may trigger TMD ache. Such habits embrace:
- Nail biting
- Chewing cheeks and lips
- Resting your jaw in your hand
- Clenching your enamel
- Grinding your enamel
- Clenching jaw muscular tissues pushing the tongue in opposition to your enamel
- Pay attention to your each day patterns and jot them down to debate together with your physician. Take into account how typically you do them.
Keep away from sure actions and meals
Particular actions and meals could cause you to open your mouth forcefully or transfer your jaw in an excessive approach. Attempt to keep away from the next:
- Yawning or yelling
- Crunchy or laborious meals
- Taking massive bites of meals
- Meals that require extended chewing
- Chewing gum
Surgical Choices for TMJ Ache
For some folks with TMD, at-home ache reduction workout routines might not be sufficient.
“The staff of oral medication and maxillofacial surgeons at Penn Drugs gives complete examination and intervention [for TMD] with deal with a conservative, reversible method together with bodily remedy,” Hearn stated, noting that Good Shepherd Penn Companions’ TMD specialists work along with Penn Drugs’s Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons to deal with sufferers with TMD and TMJ ache.