If you have been diagnosed with TMD (temporomandibular disorder), you know that the condition can be more than an occasional feeling of discomfort. At times, it may even cause tremendous, unbearable pain in the jaw joint. While there is no direct treatment for this condition, there are ways you may relieve the pain associated with the condition and ease your discomfort temporarily. If you are experiencing extreme pain in the jaw, remember it may be time to seek the advice of a specialist. There could be a more severe dental or structural issue causing this pain.
Place your fingers behind your ears, and massage the jaw and gums. Exercise the jaw muscles by gently opening and closing the mouth without letting the top and bottom jaws contact.
Often times jaw pain is associated with tenderness in the joint area. By gently massaging the tender area, you may release tension in the jaw and relieve some of the pain. Exercising the jaw allows you to improve the range of motion and increase blow flow to the area.
Place a hot, damp washcloth against the jaw. Hold it there until it is no longer hot.
When I am seeking immediate pain relief I find this trick to be the most effective. The hot water helps quickly increase blood flow to the jaw and therefore reduces pain.
Apply an ice pack to where you’re experiencing the pain.
To reduce swelling in the jaw area, cold is more effective than heat. Place the ice pack in a paper towel and hold it there until the pain subsides, or the pack becomes warm. This trick will only temporarily numb the pain, but is a good option when there is definite swelling.
Use gels or mouth swabs containing Benzocaine.
These gels can be found at most drugs stores, and can provide immediate relief to the teeth and jaw. Since this gel is applied directly to the area of pain, relief is often experienced very quickly.
Take pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
Pain relievers, especially ibuprofen, are very effective in reducing pain and swelling. Take 1-2 pills every 4-6 hours as needed. These pain relievers should only be used for temporary relief, and should not be used as long-term treatment of the condition.
Take time to release built-up stress.
The symptoms of TMD are often worsened by stress. Stress causes tension to build up in the jaw, bringing pain and discomfort to the area. Take some time out of your day to meditate, practice yoga, take an unwinding bath, or do whatever calms you. This simple trick can significantly decrease your daily symptoms of TMD.