How to Best Manage TMJ Pain

Posted on 9/20/2019 by Cole Anderson, DMD, MS
How to Best Manage TMJ PainDo you suffer from TMJ pain? If you do, you may often find yourself seeking relief from the soreness, but not sure exactly what to do. While we can help determine the cause of your TMJ and treat it, there are a few things you can do to manage the pain in the meantime.

Use Moist Heat
Soak a towel in warm water and press it against the joint of your jaw. This can help to ease the pain, but you do want to be certain that the towel isn't too hot. You can use a heating pad or other source of heat, too, but moist heat is the best.

Try Ice

You can also try icing the joints if they are inflamed. Be careful that you don't press the ice pack on your face directly. Instead, wrap it in a towel or other clean cloth. Never use ice on the joints for longer than 15 minutes.


There are some jaw exercises you can do to improve your range of motion and promote healing. We can provide you with a list of these exercises and teach you how to do them so you don't injure yourself further.

Try Sleeping Differently

This won't help you get rid of any pain right away, but if you sleep on your side instead of your back or stomach, it can help. Be sure to put a pillow between your neck and shoulder to hold everything in alignment. When you wake up, you may notice that your jaw doesn't hurt as much.

Eat Soft Foods

If the pain is really bad, you may want to avoid eating hard foods or foods that require you to open your mouth wide such as whole fruits or really big hamburgers. Try soft foods or soups. While these tips will help you manage the pain when it flares up, they don't address the cause of your TMJ pain. For that, you'll need to call and make an appointment with us.

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