Home Care Tips for TMJ Disorder Patients

Home Care Tips for TMJ Disorder Patients

TMJ disorder is a painful yet common condition suffered by many American adults. With TMJ disorder, or TMD, the temporomandibular joint and surrounding muscles do not function properly due to misalignment of the joint or other anatomical issues on one or both sides of the jaw. With TMD, patients may experience symptoms such as headaches, facial and jaw pain, and limited range of motion in the jaw. Working with your dentist is necessary to manage symptoms and explore clinical treatment options. However, there are also some strategies you can utilize at home to further improve your TMD care.

Implement hot and cold therapy

Inflammation in the jaw can cause TMD symptoms to worsen. Applying a heat pack or cold compress can help reduce inflammation and ease pain right away.

Manage daily stress

TMD may be aggravated by grinding or clenching the jaw, both common reactions to stress. To help manage your TMD symptoms over time, work on stress management techniques to help you \ keep your jaw relaxed. Meditation, for example, can be an effective solution for curbing stress on a daily basis.

Change your diet

A healthy, balanced diet is beneficial for anyone. However, with TMD, you should think about both the nutritional value of different foods as well as their textures. Hard, crunchy foods require more effort from the jaw, so you should choose softer options, such as cooked veggies instead of raw.

Utilize at-home exercises

When you visit your dentist, ask about stretches and exercises that can help to keep the muscles in the jaw limber and strong. Maintaining good posture throughout daily activities can also take some pressure off the TMJ and ease your symptoms.

At the office of Dr. John R. Carson, DDS, we provide comprehensive dental care for patients of all ages in Tucson, including TMJ/TMD treatments. Learn more about our available treatment options on our website or call us at 520-514-7203 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Carson.