TMJ problems though frustrating often resolve themselves in weeks or months. If you have recently experienced TMJ pain and/or dysfunction, you may find relief with some or all of the following therapies.
• Moist Heat. Moist heat is a great way to reduce pain and increase pain.Use a wet towel or hot water bottle for this . Be careful to avoid burning yourself when using heat.
• Use ice and ice packs: Ice packs are a great way to reduce inflammation and numb the area of pain. Do not place an ice pack directly on your skin. Keep the pack wrapped in a clean cloth while you are using it. Do not use an ice pack for more than 10 – 15 minutes.
• Soft Diet: Following a soft diet will help your jaw heal at it does not have to exert much pressure on chewing the food and taxing the jaw muscles. The basic objective is to baby your jaw.
• Over the-Counter painkillers: For many people with TMJ Disorders, short-term use of over-the-counter pain medicines or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen, may provide temporary relief from jaw discomfort. When necessary, your doctor can prescribe stronger pain or anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, or antidepressants to help ease symptoms.
• Jaw Exercises : Slow, gentle jaw exercises can help healing and enhance jaw mobility. Your health care provider or a physical therapist can evaluate your condition and suggest appropriate exercises based on your individual needs. A recent study found therapeutic jaw exercises bring earlier recovery of jaw function compared to splints! Click here to read the specific jaw exercises used in this study.
• Relaxation Techniques: Relaxation and guided meditation can help in relaxing the jaw muscles bringing healing and pain reduction. Deep, slow breathing enhances relaxation and modulates pain sensations. Some have found yoga, massage, and meditation helpful in reducing stress and aiding relaxation.
• Relax Facial Muscles: Try to relax your jaw muscles and keep your teeth apart. Your teeth should never touch except for when swallowing .
• Yawning. While yawning, use your fist to support your jaw to prevent you from opening it too much and giving it support