Posted on: 7 July 2015Share
If you have temporomandibular joint pain, more commonly referred to as TMJ pain, it can be a stressful experience. You may be eager to get rid of your pain, but may not know what to do. Here are some suggestions that may ease the discomfort you feel.
Try Jaw Exercises
Just as with any part of your body, exercise is beneficial to your jaw. In fact, there is some evidence that exercising your jaw can increase jaw function more than splints. This is especially the case if your joint pain is caused by tight muscles.
One exercise you can do is to open your mouth as much as you can, and then move your bottom jaw slowly to the left. Hold it in position for a few seconds, and then slowly move your jaw to the right and hold it there for a few seconds. You will feel your muscles stretching.
Another exercise is to yawn, or simulate yawning, with your mouth open as wide as possible. Then yawn again, opening your mouth a little less. Then again, opening your mouth a little less. This exercise helps you to stretch all the muscles surrounding the lower jaw.
Be sure not to speed through these exercises so you don't hurt yourself further. You can also try gently massaging your jaw joints with your fingers.
Change Your Sleep Position
The position you sleep in may be the last thing you think of when you are having problems with your jaw, but the truth is that the way you position your body as you sleep can have an effect on how your jaw feels.
For instance, if you sleep on your side or your stomach, your jaw can shift out of alignment or you might put too much pressure on one side of the jaw. Instead, you might want to consider drifting off to sleep on your back, so that there is no pressure on your jaw. You may find that this reduces any morning jaw pain you might be experiencing.
Eat Foods High in Magnesium
You might not think your diet is related to your TMJ pain, but researchers found in one study that 22% of people with TMJ discomfort were deficient in magnesium. Increasing the amount of magnesium in your diet can ease muscle tension, which can soothe cramps and pain. Foods high in magnesium include almonds, rice, dark chocolate, peanuts and spinach. If you don't consume enough magnesium in your diet, you can talk to your dentist about magnesium supplements.
Use the above ideas to feel better when you have TMJ pain. If you continue to be uncomfortable, you may be referred to an oral surgeon, who can perform various procedures to repair the underlying muscular and joint issues that may be causing your pain. For more information, contact a professional like Oral And Maxillofacial Surgical Associates.