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Best Practices and Tips to Relieve TMJ Pain

TMJ pain can be a real bummer, but thankfully there are several ways that you can try to find relief. We’ve gathered our top tips to help you start getting those pesky jaw pains under control.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand the causes of TMJ pain. In many cases, clenching or grinding your teeth in your sleep may cause this condition. You should talk to your dentist about any possible bite issues or treatable conditions that may be contributing to the problem.

Since muscle tension is often associated with TMJ disorder, relaxation techniques like yoga and massage therapy may help reduce symptoms. Stretching exercises can also work wonders by loosening up tight muscles around the jaw area.

You should also keep your diet in mind when trying to find relief. Eating soft foods and avoiding volume-heavy meals can help prevent tension in the jaw area. Additionally, reducing stress can be beneficial since it may be a contributing factor to TMJ pain. Taking some time for yourself each day to relax and unwind may do wonders for your symptoms.

Finally, if you’re taking any medication, make sure it doesn’t contain anything that might contribute to jaw tension or muscle stiffness, such as caffeine or alcohol. Talking to your doctor about possible alternatives is always a good idea!

TMJ Pain Treatment Options.


First, let’s talk about treatment options. Your dentist will likely recommend one or a combination of the following treatments such as orthodontic therapy. If your TMJ pain is because your teeth and jaws aren’t aligning properly, it could be time to invest in orthodontic treatment such as braces. Adults make great orthodontic candidates actually because they tend to go all-in when it comes to following their homecare instructions.


Botox or muscle relaxers. Years ago prescribing muscle relaxers was common for handling TMD. But with prescription medications like these, you have to make lifestyle changes such as having someone else drive you to work obviously there needed to be a better option. So today, a lot of dentists utilize injectables like Botox because it works as a natural muscle relaxer and the effects can last several months after each application.

Splints: Mouthguards and Night Guards

A bite splint or mouth guard can train your TMJ to rest so that the joint isn’t getting overuse. Probably the most common TMJ treatment is a mouthguard specifically a night guard since TMJ Disorder is often due to clenching and grinding your teeth at night a night guard can help train your joints to relax, lessening the strain on the muscles and providing TMJ pain relief. Also, it protects your teeth from wearing down. I always recommend my patients to consider a custom fitting night guard which is made at your dental office because when it fits right and it’s more comfortable, you’re more likely to wear it every night.

The over the counter ones at the store that you can buy they aren’t the worst, they’re better than nothing to protect your teeth but often they aren’t as effective in helping TMJ pain because of the material they are made of. If you’d like to learn more about night guards, see this post.

At-home TMJ Pain Remedies.

Now in the meantime, before you get to your dentist for treatment, some things you can do to relieve your pain at home.


Avoid hard, chewy or firm foods that require a lot of force to chew. If you enjoyed a nice juicy steak last night and your TMJ pain is flaring up today. Give it a rest, stick to a soft diet until the symptoms die down and avoid chewing gum. That’s a serious workout for your jaw and you need to rest it. Gum is always the culprit of making your jaw hurt.

Massage and physical therapy.

What sore joints and muscles don’t feel better after a massage. You can work with a professional or get a home care sheet from your dentist to learn exercises, stretches and massages that can help with TMJ pain relief.

Warm Compresses

If you’re experiencing a flare-up, use a warm compress with 20 minutes on 20 minutes off schedule for a few hours. This works for me I love this one so much. It’s so good. It’s so soothing.

Pain Relievers

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and said like ibuprofen are ideal for temporary pain relief if your physician is okay with you taking them of course, but don’t take them for more than a day or two.

Lastly, Are you someone who only has flare-ups when you’re at the dentist If so, it’s not uncommon because right your mouth is open for so long and it’s not used to that it’s like holding a plank for an hour when you’re used to only holding that plank for five minutes. Anyway, if this is the case, talk to your dental provider about using a bite prop or a bite block which can help you rest your jaw during a procedure.

Eat Soft Foods.

One of the best ways to start finding relief from TMJ pain is by simply just eating softer foods.

It’s important that you avoid crunchy foods and things like chips, pretzels or popcorn. These types of foods can aggravate TMJ pain and make your condition worse.

Drink More Water.

Drinking water is a great way to keep hydrated while also keeping the mouth lubricated. Try adding some lemon slices to your water if you’re having trouble with dryness in the mouth due to TMJ pain. This will help soothe your throat as well as start healing it over time.

Use Ice Packs and Heat Patches on Your Face.

One of the best ways to reduce the inflammation associated with TMJ is by icing it down for short periods of time throughout the day (a few minutes at a time). You want to make sure that the ice is wrapped in a soft cloth and you don’t leave it on for too long. You can also use heat patches or heating pads to help soothe pain.

Stop Using Toothpaste with SLS in It.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is found in most conventional toothpastes. This particular chemical has been proven to be very harmful for oral health. If you’re experiencing TMJ, cut out this chemical from your daily routine and try using some natural alternatives instead if possible.

Try Rinsing Your Mouth With Hydrogen Peroxide Twice a Day.

Hydrogen peroxide can be effective at killing bacteria and fungus inside of your mouth, which will help improve your overall oral health. The best way to do this is by simply swishing some hydrogen peroxide in your mouth for a few minutes, followed by spitting the solution out of your mouth and rinsing with cool water.

Do Yoga or Pilates Exercises.

One of the best natural remedies for TMJ pain that you can also do every single day is yoga or pilates exercises. These types of activities will help stretch and strengthen the facial muscles and tendons which will reduce any joint pain you’re feeling right now. Here are some great easy yoga exercises that you can perform each morning before you start your day: -stretches.html .

Cut Out Sugar From Your Diet.

People that are dealing with TMJ issues will often crave sugary foods and drinks, so it’s important to cut these things out of your diet as best you can while also switching over to healthier alternatives like agave nectar instead. Try using natural sweeteners in your food or drink options if possible too.

Do Deep Breathing Exercises Throughout The Day.

As we’ve written about in another article, deep breathing exercises can help reduce pain throughout the body by relaxing muscles and stimulating blood flow throughout the entire body, including the face. You want to make sure that you’re doing these exercises on a regular basis (preferably every day) for maximum results.

Reduce Stress Levels.

One of the main things that causes stress is our mental state, as well as how we deal with different situations in our lives. Yoga exercises are great for reducing your levels of stress and anxiety while healing TMJ pain at the same time.

Eat More Almonds and Other Nuts.

Studies have shown that people that regularly eat nuts often see better overall health in their bodies, including a reduction in symptoms associated with TMJ issues. Try snacking on some almonds or other types of nuts such as walnuts throughout the day to help reduce your symptoms naturally.

Move Your Jaw Around As Much As Possible Each Day.

If you’re suffering from TMJ disorder then it’s important to understand how essential mouth movements are when it comes to healing the ailment over time. You don’t necessarily have to do anything too strenuous, but you should try to move your mouth in different directions for as long as possible throughout the day (especially when you’re awake).

See A Physical Therapist.

A good physical therapist will be able to tell you what kind of exercises are best at improving your pain levels overall. They’ll also be able to teach you how to move your jaw around properly and how to stretch it out correctly in the long run too.

Stay Away From Cigarettes and Alcohol.

These substances only make symptoms worse when dealing with a TMJ disorder, so it’s important that you avoid them altogether as much as possible if this is something that’s affecting you right now. Try Using a Nasal Spray With Xylitol. This is an easy fix that you can do at home that will help improve your overall nasal health immensely. You simply take a good quality xylitol nasal spray and spray it into your nostrils every day, followed by some gentle breathing exercises or stretches.

Massage Your Face With Coconut Oil or Olive Oil.

Massaging your face with either coconut oil or olive oil is something that you can do on a regular basis, especially if you’re dealing with TMJ disorder. Apply the oils into your skin using circular motions before slowly moving them up and down along all of your facial bones as well, including around your jaw joints too for good measure. This exercise will help improve blood circulation throughout in this area while reducing inflammation and swelling too.

Go For A Swim In A Chlorine Free Pool On A Regular Basis.

Swimming in a chlorinated pool may sound like a good decision, but the chlorine can actually worsen your TMJ disorder and its symptoms over time. Instead of a pool, you want to make sure that you’re swimming in a chlorination free body of water like a lake or river instead.

Stock Your Fridge With Ice Packs And Frozen Vegetables.

If you need an ice pack fast then just take some frozen vegetables out of the freezer and wrap them up before applying them to any areas where pain is being experienced. This is very effective for reducing swelling in this area as well, which will help reduce the overall amount of pain that’s being felt over time too.

Use An Over The Counter Product Called “BioFreeze”.

BioFreeze is one of those products that works extremely quickly in reducing pain on contact, and it is totally safe to use as well. You simply apply BioFreeze to your jaw joint for 5 minutes at a time before giving yourself a break to let it work its magic. This method is especially effective when you have TMJ pain that’s stemming from the joint itself too, which is more common than many people realize.

Wear An Anti-Tension Jaw Device On A Regular Basis.

These devices are available over the counter without any type of prescription (just like BioFreeze), and they’re used by millions of people every year because they really do help reduce pain and inflammation whenever you wear them throughout the day. The great thing about these types of braces is that they work on either side of your jaw so you can wear one on both sides if the pain is occurring from both.