For some, even talking about their jaw pain is … a pain. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) causes pain and inflammation in the jaw that makes chewing, swallowing, and even talking uncomfortable.
There are a variety of treatments available for treating TMJ-related jaw pain. Some you can do yourself, others require professional help.
Jaw exercises are known to strengthen and stretch the jaw while increasing mobility. There are a number of movements including relaxed jaw exercises, goldfish exercises, chin tucks, and resisting opening and closing of the mouth. Learn more about effective TMJ exercises in this article.
Stress Relief and Management
Stress relief and stress management are one of the greatest contributors to overall health. According to a Mayo Clinic report, stress may be the cause of a number of our health problems including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and jaw pain.
While there are many ways to relieve stress and tension, here are a few of the most effective methods:
- Regular movement and exercise: This doesn’t have to be exhausting. A 30 minute walk each day may be enough. Many find exercise to be a top stress reduction tool. It also has the benefit of improving your overall wellness.
- Mindfulness and relaxation: It’s important for everyone to intentionally schedule time to unplug and chill. This may look like meditation, yoga, reading, painting, or learning a new skill.
- Establish a sleep schedule: Patients who are able to get themselves on a regular 8-hour sleep schedule often find they are less stressed.. Difficult situations become easier to navigate and digest when we are well rested and sharp.
- Evaluate your stressors: While we can’t avoid all stress-inducing situations, it may be possible to take some things off your plate. Take a step back and look at what is causing you stress, be it certain people or practices. Prioritize the people and practices that truly matter and step away from the rest.
More Home Remedy Options
If you aren’t quite ready to seek professional help, try these at-home remedies as well:
- Massage the temporomandibular joints for at least five minutes per day.
- Apply heat and ice up at least four times a day.
- Take supplements and nutrients that support relaxation and reduce inflammation.
Professional Treatment Options
If home remedies aren’t doing the trick, there are several conservative treatment options that provide relief from jaw pain. These options include:
- Oral appliances: An oral appliance is a flexible device that fits over your teeth, supports proper jaw alignment, and, consequently, reduces pain. They can be worn during the day or night and help stop some behaviors such as resting teeth together, jaw clenching, and teeth grinding.
- Trigger point injections (TPI): Trigger point injections release saline and corticosteroids into the muscle to decrease pain and increase relaxation. Treatments are quick, can be given in the dentist’s office, and usually provide sustained relief from pain.
- Medication: Depending on the root cause of the pain, patients may be prescribed a variety of medications including pain relievers, muscle relaxers, or antidepressants.
- Physical therapy: Many physical therapists are trained to treat and reduce TMJ pain. Treatment may include education about proper posture, exercises that improve jaw movements, or pain treatments like electrical stimulation or ultrasound.
Jaw Pain Relief in Sacramento, California
When home remedies don’t cut it, there are professional treatment options available to relieve your jaw pain. Dr. Timothy Mickiewicz, known as “The Face of TMJ Therapy,” has dedicated his career to helping patients find pain relief and get back to living their best lives. Don’t live with debilitating jaw pain any longer. Contact our office online or call 916-469-9187 today to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Mick today.