Treating Your TMJ Disorder at Home

You’ll want to talk to the dentist about your temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD) and the best course of action for treatment.  That discussion may include one or more of these at home options.

Eat soft foods.  It is probably a good idea to avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods and/or foods that require you to open your jaw wide to consume them.  Eating soft foods such as mashed potatoes, soup, cottage cheese, and scrambled eggs are a much better option requiring minimal chewing.

Avoid excessive jaw movement.  Along with avoiding too much chewing or chewing too hard, avoid chewing gum or anything else like yelling or singing that forces a lot of movement, especially with a wide open jaw.

Focus on keeping your teeth apart.  Try to keep your teeth slightly apart when possible thus relieving pressure on your jaw.  You can try putting your tongue between your teeth to prevent clenching and grinding.

Use hot and cold packs.  Apply an ice pack to the side of your face for about 10 minutes followed by a warm towel or cloth for about 5 minutes.  Ask your dentist about possible jaw stretches between the cold and hot packs.

Try over-the-counter medications.  NSAIDs like naproxen or ibuprofen can help with relieving the pain and swelling.

(Learn more about TMJ Disorders).

Learn how to relax.  Talk to the dentist about physical therapy, massage, and/or stress reduction therapy.