6 At-Home Remedies For TMJ Disorders

TMJ disorders are tricky. They’re a wide assortment of problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects your jawbone with your skull. People suffering from TMJ disorders (TMDs) will often experience pain in the joint and difficulty opening and closing their mouths. Those who have had persistent problems with TMD should go to a dental clinic in Winnipeg to get it checked out as chronic problems can indicate other illnesses, or can lead to unnecessary discomfort. As uncomfortable as TMD can be, there are a few home remedies that can help lessen the symptoms. 

Hot & Cold Therapy

Heat increases blood flow to an area and it also increases muscle flexibility. Cold, on the other hand, reduces blood flow to an area, which can reduce swelling. For TMDs, it can be best to alternate hot and cold treatments in order to increase muscle flexibility while reducing swelling. Hot treatments will often involve heating packs applied directly to the area. Cold treatments involve ice but never apply ice directly to the skin. Instead, cover it with a fabric as ice placed directly on the skin can damage the skin.

Move Your Jaw Carefully

A variety of factors can trigger TMD, but a good rule is to avoid large jaw movements. Shouting, biting down on jawbreakers, trying to fit food that’s way too big for your mouth into your mouth, and exaggerated yawns are all examples of jaw movements you should avoid if your TMJ is causing you grief.

Choose Your Food Carefully

This one ties into what we were just talking about with jaw movements; you’ll want to choose soft foods that are easy to eat. Opt for soups, ice cream, mashed potatoes, and the like. Avoid eating hard foods or particularly tough food. Don’t chomp down on a carrot and please, give up on chewing on that tough piece of meat.

Use At Home Exercises

You can talk to your dentist or doctor about these exercises – there are quite a few. For reference, most of them just use pressure from your own hands and jaw in order to relieve tension and develop the jaw muscles so the disorder goes away. You’ll use strengthening exercises between flare ups, and stretching and relaxation exercises during flare ups in order to relieve discomfort. As everyone’s situation is a bit different, we won’t post the exercises here – it really is best to speak to a medical professional to find out which ones are right for you.

Practice Stress Management

Though we don’t know what exactly causes TMDs and they seem to occur as a result of many different factors, stress seems to be present in many cases. You should practice stress-reduction techniques. Mindfulness meditation, breathing exercises, even taking a day of relaxation devoted to self-care. The less stressed you are, the less likely it seems that you’ll have a TMD.

Over-the-Counter Painkillers

You can take over-the-counter painkillers to relieve the pain of a TMD. Some of these painkillers even reduce swelling, which can be relevant in some cases. Always be careful when taking medication, even over-the-counter stuff. Make sure it doesn’t interact with any of your other medications and never take more than the instructions on the box tell you to unless otherwise instructed by a doctor.