These are some tips to help TMJ pain
Resting your jaw can be very difficult, but avoid yawning and other extreme jaw movements, and sticking to a soft diet can help. For example, avoid hard, chewy or crunchy foods, also don’t bite into large foods. When you cut food into smaller pieces and chew slowly and gently it helps prevent damage to your jaw.
If you are having pain on the side of the face, apply heat packs or cold compresses (one at a time) where the pain lies. This can be one of the best remedies for many people.
This tip can be very joyful because it helps you relax your jaw; Doing massages and gentle jaw exercises at home can really help.
You can also visit your dentist/doctor so they can prescribe pain killers, anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants.
Wear your dental mouth guard, if you have one ( and if it helps with relief of acute symptoms).
Other options to relieve TMJ pain :
If you are suffering from severe pain symptoms, medication may be injected in to the joint for temporary relief from jaw pain. This could be a steroid, local anesthetic or Botox.
You also have the option of other medications such as Serenitol ( a “natural” sleeping pill) and proteolytic enzyme tablets.
Longer Term TMJ Pain Treatment :
Some patients may need to be referred to pain management physicians to control the symptoms.
Possible strategies can include:
Visiting your dentist can help; Your dentist may make a plastic night guard (splint) that will protect your teeth and reduce the strain on your jaw. This can also help at night to relieve the effect of grinding teeth in sleep this maybe the cause of stress or it can also be a habit that has formed over time. Also, you can wear the plastic night guard during the day when necessary.
Dental Treatment can help:
Maybe you may find your joint is structurally normal, but your doctor identifies problems with your bite, s/he may suggest various treatments to help with TMJ pain relief:
Look for this:
* Bite (occlusal) adjustment- reshaping some of the teeth so that they meet properly and the jaw moves correctly as a result. This is a common option in the treatment of TMD.
* Replacement of missing teeth, as a loss of teeth can affect the way you bite and hence may put strain on the jaw joints.
What if treatments have failed? Can surgical treatment help?
In some cases where other treatment options have failed and a structural problem with the TMJ has been diagnosed, surgery may be necessary. This will be carried out by a specialist surgeon, based on accurate findings from X-rays and possibly other scans.
What is a surgical treatment:
‘Key-hole’ surgery may be possible. This involves the use of a small camera beside the joint, accessed from small incisions in the area. More invasive open surgery may be necessary in rare cases.