Helpful Suggestions for Pain and Discomfort

Helpful Suggestions for TMJ Pain

  • Rest the muscles and joints. This will allow healing.
  • Rest includes:
    • A soft food diet- avoid crunchy and chewy foods like hard nuts, chips, carrots and hard bread.
    • Avoid chewing gum.
    • No clenching or tensing- learn to keep "teeth apart, face and jaw relaxed".
  • Avoid opening too wide. This protects the joints and prevents them from locking open.
    • Yawn against pressure.
    • Eat small bites.
    • Avoid general anesthesia when possible.
    • Avoid long dental appointments, and rest frequently during all dental appointments.
  • Apply cold compresses for 5-10 minutes for severe pain from new injuries (less than 72 hours) and reinjury.
  • Apply moist heat for 20 minutes for mild to moderate pain to increase circulation and muscle relaxation. This promotes healing.
  • Use heat and ice for quick relief from muscle pain. Apply heat for 5 seconds then ice for 5 seconds and repeat 4-5 times.
  • Massage the jaw and temple muscles. This stimulates circulation, relaxes muscles and decreases soreness.
  • Accupressure: Massage the Hoku point found between the thumb and the forefinger. This decreases jaw pain and headaches.
  • Maintain good posture: Avoid a forward head posture which may increase jaw and neck muscle activity and soreness.
  • Telephone Use: Do not cradle the phone between your ear and shoulder. This irritates jaw and neck muscles.
  • Sleeping position: Sleep on your side with a pillow support between the neck and shoulders and soft support along the face and jaw or sleep on your back with a neck curve support.
  • Exercise 20-30 minutes at a time 3-4 times a week. Choose low impact type exercises to minimize pressure on the joints.
  • Yoga and Meditation are excellent methods to reduce stress.
  • Over-the-counter Medications are helpful for pain and inflammation. Take 2 aspirin or ibuprofen 4 times daily (if not allergic), according to the directions.
  • An athletic mouthguard can provide temporary pain relief until you consult your dentist.
  • Good nutrition promotes joint and muscle healing.

Helpful Suggestions for Wisdom Teeth Discomfort