How to Treat a TMJ Flare Up

TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint Disorders are jaw disorders that affects both the jaw bone and the muscles around it— leaving you with the inability to open your mouth very wide, chew certain types of foods, or move your jaw from side-to-side. Although not much is known about the cause behind TMJ, it is known that factors like stress can cause a flare up to occur. If you notice that your jaw is starting to hurt, feel sore, or is acting up, try following these three tips in order to calm down your flare-up and get back to feeling like your normal self once again.

  1. Move It Side To Side

Much like your body needs to stretch after a good workout, your jaw needs to stretch as well. If you notice that your jaw is starting to feel tense and tight, try to slowly move it side to side. If you notice that it is catching or getting caught, slowly work through it until it is loosened up. You can also try opening and closing your mom repeatedly in order to loosen up your jaw as well.

  1. Avoid Hard Foods

If you’re like many people and enjoy a nice juicy steak, you’re going to hate this suggestion. But during a TMJ flare up, it’s important to avoid hard to chew foods like steak, chewing gum, apples, carrots, celery, etc. When you are eating these foods, you are putting a lot of strain on your jaw and jaw muscles— in turn, leaving your jaw feeling completely out of whack and likely very sore for days to come.

  1. Heat It Up

After a long day at work, help your TMJ calm down by using a heat pack. Look for a heat pack that is made of rice or corn— you can even make one yourself— as these materials easily mold to your face without causing any sort of extreme discomfort. The heat will help your jaw to loosen up and will leave you feeling more relaxed than before. Try heating it every hour for about ten minutes or until you notice that your jaw is starting to loosen up.

To learn more about TMJ, contact our office today!

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