Tips for relieving and preventing TMJ pain

TMJ pain

Pain in your jaw makes it difficult for you to eat food, talk, laugh or sing. Sometimes, jaw pain is the result of eating chewy foods or a lot of laughter. However, chronic jaw pain may be related to a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.

TMJ pain affects the joint in your jaw connecting your jaw to your skull. Conditions that cause pain in this joint include:

  • Arthritis
  • Jaw injury
  • Grinding teeth in sleep
  • Genetics

Regardless of the cause of TMJ pain, you’ll need treatment to help it go away. In many cases, it helps to visit a healthcare professional like a physical therapist for treatment. There are also homecare methods that help reduce pain in people with either severe or mild TMJ pain.

Home treatments for TMJ pain relief

Home treatments do not treat the root of TMJ pain. You’ll need medical treatment for that. However, home treatments do help by lessening the pain caused by TMJ disorders and preventing future TMJ pain.

If you’re looking for TMJ pain relief, try some of these home treatments:

  • Icing — Often, TMJ pain is related to inflammation of the joint. Icing the joint can help decrease inflammation and reduce pain. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth to your jaw two or three times a day for no longer than 15 minutes.

  • Heating — After a couple of days of icing, you can switch to heating. Heating the joint further helps in reducing pain and improves blood flow to the joint. It’s important to ice for a couple of days before heating since heating can make inflammation worse.

  • Soft diet — Eating foods that are easier to chew can help lessen TMJ jaw pain. Avoid chewy, hard and crunchy foods or foods that take a long time to eat.

Visit Holland Physical Therapy for TMJ pain treatment

Our physical therapists at Holland Physical Therapy are skilled in noninvasive treatments that help reduce TMJ pain and prevent future jaw pain. Would you like to talk to one of our team members about treating your TMJ disorder with physical therapy? Contact us today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.