5 Things You Need To Know About Treating TMJ

TMJ Treatment Stillwater
March 3, 2023

Do you experience pain or discomfort in your jaw while speaking, chewing, or simply moving your mouth? If so, it’s possible that you may be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). This condition can cause a range of symptoms and affect your ability to perform everyday activities. But don’t worry – there are effective treatments available! In this blog post, we’ll explore five key things you need to know about treating TMJ so that you can find relief and get back to living your life with ease.

What is TMJ?

There are two joints in our jaw, which hinge open and shut like a door, allowing us to talk, chew and yawn. These TMJ (temporomandibular joint) joints are the only ones in our body that work this way. The muscles controlling the movement of the joint and the disc between the bones are also unique. All of these structures can be a source of pain if they’re not working properly.

Symptoms of TMJ

The most common symptom of TMJ is pain in the jaw, although other symptoms may include:

  • Pain in the temples or ear
  • Clicking or popping sound when opening or closing the mouth
  • Difficulty chewing or pain when chewing
  • Pain when yawning or opening the mouth wide
  • Lockjaw

Causes of TMJ

There are many different things that can cause TMJ, and often it is a combination of factors. Some common causes include:

  • Arthritis: This is a common cause of TMJ, especially in older adults. Arthritis can damage the cartilage that cushions the joint, leading to pain and inflammation.
  • Bruxism: This is when you grind or clench your teeth, which puts a lot of pressure on the TMJ. This can be caused by stress or anxiety.
  • Dislocation: The TMJ can become dislocated if there is a sudden force exerted on it, such as from a fall or a blow to the head.
  • Injury: An injury to the jaw, face, or head can also lead to TMJ problems.

Treatment Options for TMJ

There are many different treatment options for TMJ, and the best course of action will vary depending on the individual case. In some cases, simple home remedies may be all that is needed to alleviate symptoms. For example, eating soft foods, avoiding chewing gum, and applying ice packs to the jaw can help to reduce pain and inflammation.

If home remedies don’t provide relief, there are a number of other options that can be considered. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can be helpful in managing pain. For more severe cases, prescription medications may be necessary. These can include muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory drugs.

In some cases, physical therapy may be recommended in order to help improve jaw function and range of motion. This may involve exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles around the jaw. If these conservative measures don’t provide relief, surgery may be an option. Surgery is usually only considered as a last resort when other treatments have failed.

Tips on Preventing or Relieving Pain from TMJ

TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is a condition that can cause pain in the jaw and face. There are a number of things that can trigger TMJ, including stress, teeth grinding, and misalignment of the teeth. While there is no cure for TMJ, there are ways to prevent or relieve the pain associated with the condition.

Here are some tips on preventing or relieving pain from TMJ:

  •  Avoiding triggers: If you know what triggers your TMJ pain, try to avoid those activities or situations. For example, if you tend to grind your teeth at night, wear a mouthguard to bed. If stress is a trigger, find ways to relax and reduce stress in your life.
  • Exercises and stretches: There are specific exercises and stretches that can help relax the muscles in your face and jaw and ease TMJ pain. Ask your orthodontist for recommendations.
  • Over-the-counter medication: Pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help manage TMJ pain. Apply heat or cold packs to the affected area for additional relief.
  • Relaxation techniques: Stress can aggravate TMJ pain, so learning relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation can be helpful.


TMJ treatment can be complex and overwhelming, but understanding the basics of what you need to know is key to finding relief. From getting a proper diagnosis from orthodontist, to learning about self care practices like jaw relaxation exercises and eating softer foods, there are many different approaches that may help reduce your discomfort. When it comes to treating TMJ, knowledge is power—so if you’re experiencing symptoms and want to find lasting relief, make sure you’re armed with all of the facts!


Q: What is TMJ?

A: TMJ is the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull.

Q: What are the symptoms of TMJ?

A: The most common symptom of TMJ is pain in the jaw, although you may also experience popping or clicking noises when you move your jaw, or pain in your ears.

Q: What causes TMJ?

A: There are a number of things that can cause TMJ, including teeth grinding (bruxism), arthritis, and injury to the jaw.

Q: How is TMJ treated?

A: The treatment for TMJ will depend on what is causing it. If it is due to bruxism, you may be advised to wear a mouthguard at night. If it is due to arthritis, you may be prescribed medication or undergo physical therapy. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem.