TMD or temporomandibular joint disorder is a jaw disorder that causes pain, discomfort, and swelling in the upper region of the jaw near the ear. Although small symptoms of TMD might be consistently present, TMD really manifests itself in flare ups during times of stress, after eating certain foods, or sometimes even after a hard night of sleep. If you notice that your jaw is aching more and is feeling out of whack, try these three methods to help deal with your TMD flare up and get back to feeling like your normal self once again.
Gently massaging your jaw will help to loosen up the muscle and make you feel more relaxed. Simply take your pointer finger and index finger and rub all around your jaw, focusing on where your jaw bones connect. Although it might be extremely painful at first, slowly massaging the area will help to break up any tension and give you some comfort. For best results, try massaging your jaw like this every hour until you notice some tension relief.
Because TMD causes your jaw to swell up a little bit, it’s important to take an anti-inflammatory medication like Ibuprofen. Not only will Ibuprofen help to cut down on the swelling of the jaw but it will also help to ease any pain as well. Before taking Ibuprofen, however, consult with your physician to make sure that you are healthy enough to take it and that it doesn’t conflict with any of your current medications.
If you sprain your ankle, your doctor will tell you to ice the injury. And although icing an injured area is a great way to help reduce inflammation, using a heat pack on your jaw for TMD is more effective. The heat will help to relax your jaw muscles and alleviate any added tension that you might be feeling. Simply place a heat pack (after testing it first to make sure it won’t burn you) on your jaw for about 5-10 minutes. Repeat this step as necessary.
To learn more about TMD and how to treat it, contact our office today!