Lifestyle change and other solutions for TMJ
For starters, an ice pack or cold compress can help. Apply the ice or cold compress to the affected area for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will reduce the swelling and inflammation associated with TMJ. You can also apply moist heat to the area for another 10 to 15 minutes to improve circulation to the area and reduce pain.
Another option is stretching exercises. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist to learn more about stretches that can help reduce tension in the jaw. If performed as prescribed, the exercises help stretch the muscles of the jaw to relieve unnecessary muscle tension caused by TMJ.
When eating, try to choose soft, small foods. If you choose foods that don’t require much chewing it will be easier to eat than larger foods that are hard, crunchy or chewy. Look to soup, scrambled eggs, yogurt, beans and cooked, diced fruits and vegetables, among other options. The easier it is to eat, the less stress it causes your jaw.
Over the counter pain relievers can also help minimize the pain and reduce inflammation. If needed, a doctor can prescribe stronger pain medications for TMJ, so keep in contact with your physician throughout the process. Prescription muscle relaxants can also aid patients who grind their teeth. These medications help to relax the jaw muscles.