TMJ Care

If you are having temporomandibular joint pain or facial muscle pain/spasms, the following home treatments can help you recover.

  1. One aspirin at bedtime for 3-5 days. (You may substitute Advil or Motrin but not Tylenol.)
  2. Ice pack (gel type) on affected area for 10 minutes at bedtime. This is very good for relieving muscle pain and can be used 2-3 times a day if necessary.
  3. First thing in the morning, using two hot wash cloths, heat both sides of your jaw twice, then slowly and gently stretch your mouth open wide and forward. This will loosen your jaw before you use it all day.
  4. Soft diet—eat foods that are easy to chew.
  5. If you are grinding or clenching, minimize sugar intake. Twenty minutes of aerobic exercise will also help alleviate stress and burn off energy that you might otherwise take out on your jaw during sleep.
  6. Consciously tell your facial muscles to rest before you go to sleep. The power of suggestion can be beneficial.
  7. If you have severe muscle craps during the day, rest your front teeth together for about 5 minutes on a piece of paper folded thick enough to keep the back teeth from touching. This should relieve the spasm.
  8. If possible, sleep on your back. Elevate your knees with a pillow or sleeping bag to relieve lower back and hip pain.
  9. If you must sleep on your side or stomach, keep the weight of your head on your cheekbone-not your jaw. Poor sleep posture causes lots of TMJ pain!
  10. If these measures have not eliminated your pain within one week, talk to the dentist about other treatments of medications.