Your jaw joint, also known as your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), is one of the most powerful joints of your entire body. Your TMJ is composed of the muscles, bones and nerves that allow you to yawn, speak and eat. Considering its high demand on a daily basis, it is understandable the TMJ can become strained, inflamed and dysfunctional. Your painful jaw may be an acute issue instead of a chronic condition. Perhaps you have been under excessive stress lately that caused you to clench your jaw more frequently, or maybe you have been chewing gum more than usual. These are instances in which your TMJ discomfort may be remedied at home. If you cannot find relief from your jaw symptoms, however, a visit to the dentist is your next step.
Tips to Relieve Jaw Pain
Whether you have jaw pain, jaw stiffness or tension headaches, your TMJ may be the culprit. In many cases, this joint just needs a little TLC to recover. Consider these home remedies for TMJ discomfort:
- Apply Moist Heat and/or Ice
- Avoid chewing gum
- Eat soft foods
- Find ways to reduce stress
- Support your chin/jaw when you yawn
- Massage your TMJ
- Take Ibuprofen
When You Need a Dentist
If the above remedies allowed your angry TMJ to calm down, you may have experienced an acute issue with your jaw joint. However, if you continue to have jaw discomfort or if your symptoms worsen, it is time to call your dentist. At Riverwood Dental, we treat TMJ/TMD with some of the latest and most proven therapies. In many cases, this involves providing a custom nightguard to prevent a teeth grinding/clenching habit that could be causing your jaw pain. Don’t forget that many patients mistakenly assume they have an ear infection when really the TMJ is to blame. The jaw joint can affect many muscles in the head and neck when it is not functionally properly. Call Riverwood Dental today to schedule your consult for jaw pain relief.