TMJ Therapy – Las Vegas, NV
Self-Help for TMJ Pain
Do you ever experience any of the following symptoms?
- Persistent pain in your jaw, ears, face, neck or shoulders
- Headaches or migraines
- Earaches that show no sign of inner ear infection
- Clicking or popping sounds when you open and close your mouth
- Feeling as if your jaw is locked in place
If you do, then the problem may be TMJ disorder, also just called TMD. This is an often painful and bothersome condition that happens as a result of dysfunction in your temporomandibular joints, which connect the lower to your skull. Dr. Pamela West can provide TMJ therapy in Las Vegas to help alleviate the pain. In addition, she has several suggestions for some self-care practices you can use that might be helpful, too. Read on for some general tips on you can manage your symptoms.
Self-Care for TMD
- Just as heat or ice can help alleviate joint and muscle pains throughout the body, the same holds true for your jaw joints. Try applying moist heat for 15 to 20 minutes two to four times a day to the area that’s painful. You can apply an ice pack more often—up to 10 minutes at a time every two hours.
- Watch what you eat. There are certain foods that are known to aggravate TMD, such as raw carrots, caramels, nuts and other hard or chewy foods. When eating fruit, be sure to cut bite-sized pieces and roast or steam fresh vegetables. Basically, stay away from any food that causes your jaw to hurt or feel locked. Be sure to chew on both sides of your mouth at the same time, so you don’t strain one side more than the other. And don’t chew gum!
- Don’t clench your teeth. As you go through the day, you may not even realize that you are tightening your jaw muscles. To relax your jaw, touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth while keeping your lips together. This keeps your upper and lower and teeth from touching and your jaw can relax.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, sodas, energy drinks and hot chocolate. Caffeine causes muscle tension, which can make your jaw feel tighter. And read the labels! Even drinks that are decaffeinated have some amount of caffeine.
- Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain reduction medications according to Dr. West’s instructions.
- Instead of sleeping on your stomach, trying moving to your side or your back. Stomach sleeping strains your jaw and neck muscles.
At the sleep center in Las Vegas, Dr. West can also teach you a few exercises and stretches that can be quite helpful for people dealing with TMD. Call the office today to schedule a consultation.