Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, is a disorder that is characterized by pain in the jaw and the muscles that attach the jaw to the skull. One of the main causes of TMJ has been attributed to bruxism, which is the grinding of the teeth during sleep.
TMJ symptoms include but are not limited to: blinking, discomfort while biting or chewing, overall pain in the face, popping sound while chewing, earache, headache or migraine in the morning, jaw pain, neck pain, and dizziness. Overall, TMJ is not a fun thing to experience.
If you suspect that you may have TMJ, it is important that you meet with your doctor as soon as possible. If they can talk to you about your TMJ symptoms, they can get a better idea of what it is you’re dealing with and how best to treat your condition.
If you are experiencing TMJ, or any jaw-related pain, there are things you can do in order to reduce the pain you feel. The first thing you can do is purchase some over-the-counter pain medication, like Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
These drugs can help relieve the pain temporarily, but are not intended for long term use. Other temporary pain relief can be found in mouth swabs that contain Benzocaine.
Benzocaine is an anesthetic that is used in many topical pain relievers. You can apply the swab to the skin on your jaw or your teeth and find relief from your pain.
If you are the type of person who prefers natural solutions over pharmaceutical solutions, you can purchase oil of cloves from your local drug store. Soak a cotton ball in the oil of cloves, and it can provide the same relief that the mouth swabs would.
You can also get a hot, damp washcloth and press it against your jaw to relieve pain. The heat will make your blood flow faster and will help to decrease the pain.
The same is true for cold temperatures. You can get a cold-pack and press it against your jaw, and that can help relieve pain just like the hot washcloth.
Gently massaging the area that is painful can help to relax the muscles and can help you to feel a little better. Make sure not to massage too hard, as that will aggravate the pain and make it worse.
Opening and closing your jaw slowly, without slamming the jaw shut can help increase movement and blood flow and can help to decrease pain. It is also important to avoid chewy or sticky food and candy, like gum, lollipops, beef jerky, and other chewy foods.
Start treating your jaw pain today
It may be annoying that with your TMJ symptoms you cannot eat the things you once did. Your quality of life may seem like it is greatly reduced… but you do not have to suffer in silence.
That’s why it’s important to follow these steps so that your jaw pain can be reduced as much as possible. As mentioned previously, it is also important to meet with your doctor or dentist and discuss your TMJ so he or she can provide you with a specific and appropriate diagnosis and possible treatment options.