TMD is described as pain and compromised movement of the jaw joint and the surrounding joints. There are things you can do at home on your own to relieve TMD symptoms:
- Use moist heat or cold packs. Apply an ice pack to the side of your face and temple area for about 10 minutes. Do a few simple jaw stretches, then apply a warm towel for 5 minutes.
- Take OTC medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like naproxen or ibuprofen, can relieve muscle pain or swelling.
- Avoid extreme jaw movements. Keep yawning and chewing (especially gum and ice) to a minimum.
- Keep your teeth slightly apart. This will relieve pressure on your jaw. Put your tongue between your teeth to control clenching or grinding during the day.
Lastly, if these at home treatments are no longer effective, talk with your dentist about getting a splint or night guard made. These plastic mouthpieces fit over the tops of your teeth to keep the upper and lower ones from touching. They lessen the effects of clenching or grinding, therefore alleviating temporomandibular joint pain.
– from Jordan M. (Dental Hygienist)