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The term temporomandibular disorder (TMD) may not be familiar to the average person, but the truth is about one in four people struggle with symptoms of it, according to the National Institute of Craniofacial Research. Despite facing signs like jaw pain and intense headaches, only about one in 20 of these people afflicted with TMD take the initiative to call their dentist. While scheduling a dental appointment is the best way to deal with the situation, at least there are a few ways you can seek quick TMD relief at home. Read on to learn tips from your Brookfield dentist.
Tip #1: Seek to Relieve Your Stress
One of the biggest culprits of TMD is stress. So, it’s not hard to see why so many patients are experiencing symptoms like ear pain, jaw soreness, and intense headaches. The good news is you can ease your anxiety (and TMD symptoms) by practicing meditation, breathing deeply, and doing yoga.
Tip #2: Use Over-the-Counter Pain Medication as Needed
When discomfort stemming from TMD is too much to bear, take OTC pain medication as directed until your dental appointment. Remember, this is a band-aid solution, not a long-term one. To get the true relief you need, schedule a consultation with your dentist.
After all, they have undergone extensive training and have a deep understanding of facial structures. Once they get a better idea of your symptoms and the basis of the problem, they can customize a plan to get the lasting relief you deserve.
Tip #3: Focus on Soft Foods
In short, consuming hard, sticky, or chewy foods will exacerbate the inflamed muscles in your jaw and face. Therefore, it’s a good idea to avoid taffy, peanut brittle, crunchy bread, and other products that require extensive chewing power. Instead, stick to alternatives like oatmeal, hard-boiled eggs, applesauce, and yogurt.
Tip #4: Create a Routine
To prevent your symptoms from flaring up, try getting into a routine of applying heat, stretching your jaw, and using a cold compress. Placing a heating pad or warm towel against your cheek will relax any tight muscles.
From there, do some simple jaw stretches, like gently opening and closing your mouth and moving your jaw from side to side. After a few minutes, use a cold compress to soothe puffiness and inflammation. Completing this routine several times a day can make all the difference!
TMD pain is a more common problem than most people realize, but you don’t have to deal with the discomfort. Your Brookfield dentist is ready to help if needed, and even in the time before your appointment arrives you can take measures at home to regain comfort.
About the Practice
At Elmbrook Family Dental, dental insurance is welcome, and we offer appointments in the early mornings and evenings. From massage chairs to warm neck pillows, helping you be comfortable during your visit is very important to us. We have six dentists on staff to help you. If you seek TMD relief, you’ve come to the right place. We are Wisconsin’s premier provider of solutions for pain related to the head, face, neck, and temporomandibular joint. Implement the at-home solutions referenced above until your appointment which you can schedule on our website or by calling (262) 784-7201.