7 Self-care Practices You Can Use to Relieve TMD Discomfort

TMJ problem
Doctors estimate that up to 30 percent of adults deal with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). People with TMD experience symptoms that lower quality of life remarkably.

Fortunately, the following self-help measures may ease your TMD symptoms:

1. Resting the Joint

Rest your joint by eating soft or blended food. TMJ.com and other resource sites recommend avoiding hard, crunchy, chewy foods, and thick or large bites that stretch your mouth.

2. Applying Ice Packs

Holding a cold flannel to your jaw for about 10 minutes may decrease inflammation, ease the discomfort, and foster healing. Use the ice pack several times a day.

3. Applying Moist Heat

Moist heat can contribute to improving jaw function and reduce pain. Wrap a hot water bottle in a warm, wet towel and apply it for about five minutes, several times a day.

4. Avoiding Extreme Jaw Movements

Extreme jaw movements often make TMD worse. Avoid wide yawning, gum chewing, and loud singing. WebMD.com says dentists may take full dental x-rays to see the situation in your jaw.

5. Learning Relaxation and Stress Reducing Techniques

Relaxation helps you manage the pain that often accompanies TMD. Controlled breathing may improve relaxation and lower pain sensations. Useful relaxation practices include massage, yoga, and meditation.

6. Practicing Gentle Jaw-stretching Exercises

Doing slow jaw stretching and relaxing exercise may increase jaw movement and healing. Your health care professional or physical therapist can assess your condition and recommend a few appropriate activities.

7. Avoiding Resting the Chin on the Hand.

Avoid resting your chin on your hand. Skip cradling your phone between your shoulder and ear. Also, practice good posture to lower neck and facial pain.

There are several treatments for TMD, including therapies, medical devices, biologics, and surgery. If you experience TMD symptoms, visit your healthcare provider. Meanwhile, make lifestyle changes to help ease your discomfort. Avoid overworking your jaw and take over-the-counter painkillers as required.