What is TMJ?
YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV/Shutterstock TMJ (temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders) is a condition that causes pain in the jaw joint. While there are new dental treatments that may help TMJ, it still affects about 10 million Americans, according to National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. It’s more common in women than men. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, popping or clicking sounds, and limited movement in the jaw area. Home remedies can be effective in the management of TMJ disorders. Below are a few worth trying.
Hot and cold compresses
kariphoto/Shutterstock “Warm compresses over the jaw, temples, and neck region for 10 to 12 minutes about two times daily can allow the muscles to relax and the symptoms to reduce,” says Brijesh Chandwani, DMD, BDS, FAAOP, Diplomate, American Board of Orofacial Pain and Associate Clinical Professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. “Warm compresses should be done as a preventive measure for a week or so rather than doing them when the pain is at its peak.” Warm application can decrease jaw stiffness and pain by increasing blood supply to the region and it also provides a soothing distraction from the pain. “If warm compresses don’t help after one to two days, switch to ice application,” says Chandwani. “Ice application can reduce muscle spasm.” Ice or cold can have a numbing effect on the pain. Here’s how to know how to treat these common injuries with heat or ice.