Symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)
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Basic Self-Help for TMJ Pain

There are many causes for temporomandibular joint dysfunction and, treatment for the disorder will vary for each individual.  Until you can visit your neuromuscular dentist for diagnosis and treatment here are some ideas to help relieve your discomfort.

  1. Do NOT chew gum.
  2. Apply cold packs. Apply an ice pack to the side of your face for 10 minutes (wrap in a towel to protect your skin).   Reapply after 20-30 minutes.
  3. Eat a soft diet. Stick to soft foods such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs and soup.  The idea is to rest your jaw muscles as much as possible.  Don’t eat hard, crunchy foods like raw carrots, pretzels or really chewy foods.
  4. Avoid opening your mouth too wide. Try to keep your mouth movements small when you yawn.  Do not order the overstuffed sandwich or the double bacon cheeseburger.  You will be more comfortable if you avoid extreme jaw movement.
  5. Hold the Phone. This means hold it with your hand, not between your ear and shoulder.
  6. Don’t Rest Your Chin – Do you rest your chin on your hand?  Time to stop.  Also, check your pillow position at night – find a comfortable position that doesn’t place pressure on your face or jaw.
  7. Lips Together, Teeth Apart – Practice keeping your teeth slightly apart to help avoid unconscious clenching or grinding of your teeth during the day.
  8. Try Over The Counter Medications. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofin (Advil, Motrin, etc.) can be purchased at your local retailer.  Follow the dosing directions carefully and remember to always have food in your stomach before you take these medications (see #3 above) because they can injure your stomach lining.

Hopefully these tips will help alleviate some of the pain, headaches and other symptoms you are experiencing until your appointment.  They are not a treatment for temporomandibular joint dysfunction and will not replace a visit to your neuromuscular dentist.   Proper diagnosis and treatment of your individual case is necessary to avoid further damage to the jaw joint.

In Gahanna, Ohio please contact Dr. Mark Levy today at 614-476-6696 to schedule your consultation.  Relief from the pain and headaches associated with TMD are only a phone call away.