Do you have jaw pain when you wake up? Does your jaw pop or click when you eat chewy or hard foods? Chances are, you have TMD. Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) are bite disorders that create problems like tooth and jaw pain, headaches, earaches, and more. Learn how to minimize your symptoms with TMJ treatment at home and in our Broomall, PA, office.
TMJ Treatment in Broomall, PA
You can reduce painful TMD symptoms with minimally invasive treatments. Follow these tips to make everyday life more comfortable:
Use Heating Pads
Placing a heating pad or a heat wrap around your jaw for fifteen minutes. The heat will help loosen your facial and jaw muscles, minimizing your soreness or pain.
Avoid Certain Foods or Activities
Eating hard, crunchy, or sticky foods can wear down the muscles in your TMJ and put increased strain on the joints. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to follow a soft diet for several weeks as you treat your TMJ. Bad habits like biting your nails or chewing ice cubes can also worsen TMJ symptoms. Distracting yourself with another activity can help minimize the pressure you place on your teeth.
Do Targeted Exercises
Stretching and relaxing exercises can properly work the muscles in the TMJ, back, shoulders, and arms. Physical therapists can also help you learn the best exercises to ensure that you’re exercising these muscles properly. Additionally, physical therapists can provide tips for more comfortable joint movement.
Remember Your Tongue Position and Posture
When it’s at rest, the position of your tongue should be at the roof of the mouth and not touching the teeth. Training your tongue to stay in that position at rest can help relax the jaw muscles. Additionally, looking down, especially if you work at a computer, can increase the strain on your neck, back, shoulders, and even jaw. Sit and stand up straight to help reduce stress in your upper body.
Receive a Nightguard
We can create a custom nightguard for patients who experience teeth clenching and grinding, tooth wear, jaw pain, headaches, and other symptoms of TMD. TMJ nightguards are made of hard acrylic that covers the upper or lower teeth. Wearing a nightguard during sleep can alleviate pressure from the TMJ and reduce the wear to your tooth enamel. Over-the-counter nightguards use rubber-like plastic material that can actually increase symptoms like teeth clenching and grinding. Receiving a custom-made professional nightguard can keep you from grinding your teeth and wearing down your natural enamel. A nightguard can also minimize morning headaches and migraines.
Do you need more tips for treating TMD or require a nightguard? Contact Williamsburg Dental today at (610) 347-8302 or schedule a dental appointment with us online. We’re here to help you.