The TMJ disorder can cause severe pain and discomfort in the temporomandibular joints, which are the joints that hinge the jaw, which can make it very difficult to eat, talk, and laugh. Our dentist, Dr. Carl McMillan, and dental team can imagine that can be quite inconvenient. Fortunately, there are things you can do to relieve that TMJ discomfort, and we are happy to tell you what they are!
The first is using a heating pad. Try warming the area with a heating pad or warm compress. All you need to do is place the pad outside the painful joint for 15-20 minutes at a time. Doing so can relax the surrounding muscles, which can release the tension that might be causing the pain.
The second is icing the area. All you need to do is place an ice pack or cold compress (like a bag of frozen peas) on the cheek that lies outside the joint. Before you place it on the skin, make sure to cover it with a thin towel. You don’t want to harm the skin or other facial tissues. Make sure to ice the area for 15-20 minutes at a time.
The third is having a soft-foods diet. This can help you because eating soft foods doesn’t take too much effort from the jaw. In fact, you often don’t have to open your mouth wide to eat these foods. So, when you’re in pain, try only eating foods like yogurt, cottage cheese, and ice cream. Hard foods, like apples, corn on the cob, and tough candy, can cause more distress to the joints.
For more information and details about how to soothe TMJ discomfort in American Fork, Utah, please call TMJ Therapy at your earliest convenience. We also encourage you to schedule an appointment if these tips do not help you. Our dental team will be happy to meet with you and give you the treatment you need!