Many people don’t spend much time thinking about their jaw, but if you have TMD, your life can be consumed with daily discomfort. Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to your skull on either side of your face. If the joint functions incorrectly, it can cause a variety of symptoms, like clicking, popping, or grating when opening and closing the mouth. Your jaw may even lock in an opened or closed position. You don’t have to live with the challenges of a TMJ disorder. Here are 4 ways to stop TMD pain in South Austin.
1. RELAX YOUR JAW MUSCLES
Inflammation and tension can worsen TMD symptoms. Jaw relaxing exercises can help reduce the tension. Place your tongue on the top of your mouth, just behind your upper teeth. Slowly allow your upper and lower teeth to come apart as you relax your jaw muscles.
2. PRACTICE BEING A GOLDFISH
Believe it or not, practicing your best goldfish face can give you relief. With the tongue on the roof of your mouth, place one finger near your ear by your TMJ. Place another finger on your chin to apply mild resistance as you open your jaw halfway. Repeat this in a series of 6 per set at least 6 times daily.
3. EMBRACE YOUR DOUBLE CHIN
No one likes to see their double chin, but it can improve the flexibility of the TMJ. Stand or sit with your chest up and shoulders back as you point your chin down. Hold this position for about 3 seconds and repeat it 10 times daily.
4. RESIST CLOSING YOUR MOUTH
Use your thumb and index finger to squeeze your chin to apply gentle pressure as you close your mouth. Repeating this exercise throughout the day can strengthen your muscles to make it easier to chew.
CONSULT WITH A PROFESSIONAL
If home exercises don’t improve your TMD symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek the assistance of a professional. Your dentist will find the source of your jaw dysfunction to create a personalized strategy to stop your pain, such as using a nightguard. Your dentist will also recommend following a few additional tips at home to alleviate your discomfort, like:
With the right TMJ treatment in South Austin and a few changes to your lifestyle, you won’t think twice about biting into a juicy hamburger or yawning after a long nap. You’ll overcome your jaw pain and improve its functions to restore your quality of life.
About Dr. Jack Fan
Dr. Fan earned his dental degree at the New York University College of Dentistry. He regularly continues his education in many specialties, like TMJ therapy. He uses the latest techniques and technologies to provide individualized solutions for each patient. If you are ready to conquer your jaw pain, contact our office today to request your consultation.