Do You Know The Symptoms of TMJ?
Dr. Larson in San Francisco, CA
- Pain in your face and jaw can be irritating if you don’t know what is causing it. It helps to know what symptoms to look for. You may be dealing with TMJ if you experience the following:
- Pain or tenderness in your jaw joint
- Pain in your neck or shoulders
- Tired feeling or pain in your face
- Swelling on the side of your face
- Pain in or around your ear
- Pain while chewing or an uncomfortable bite
- Hearing problems or ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Locked jaw, which makes it difficult to open or close your mouth
- Clicking or grating sensation when opening and closing your mouth
You can practice the following self-care at home and you may find relief:
Eat soft foods. Load up on non-chewy foods and avoid foods that require wide bites like thick sandwiches.
Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication Practice good posture and avoid resting your chin on your hand.
Avoid extreme or unnecessary jaw movements. Skip the chewing gum, place a hand under your chin when you yawn, and avoid things like singing or yelling that might cause you to open your jaw too wide.
Position your jaw with your teeth slightly apart as often as possible. Place your tongue between your teeth if you have problems with grinding or clenching your teeth.
Place moist heat or cold packs on your jaw and the side of your face for about 10 minutes. You can do this several times a day.
Learn to relax. You’ll need a few stress management techniques in your arsenal to help you relax and loosen your jaw. Consider asking your doctor or dentist about how TMJ and
Oral Appliance therapy can help.
Massage your neck and jaw muscles. Where appropriate, ask your doctor or physical therapist about gentle stretches you can do at home.
Treatment options for TMJ
TMJ has many treatment options. Your first line of care can start at home. But after you’ve exhausted at-home treatment options for your jaw, you may need to see your doctor for further care.