What are TMJ/TMD Disorders? (Part IV)


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Treatment of TMJ/TMD

Treatment for TMJ/TMD runs the full spectrum from home remedies to professional treatment. Here are some treatment options for consideration to relieve TMJ/TMD symptoms.

Home Remedies

* Consume Over-the-counter (OTC) medications

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) can be consumed to relive muscle pain and reduce swelling

* Hot/Cold Packs

A cold pack or a towel wrapped with ice cubes can be applied to the side of face/the temple area for 10 minutes. After application, a few light jaw stretches should be performed to loosen up the muscles. After performing the jaw stretches, a warm towel or washcloth should be applied to the side of the face for 5 minutes. This routine should be performed a few times throughout the day if possible and will help to reduce TMJ/TMD symptoms.

* Diet Modification

Diet should be modified to focus on consumption of soft foods. Such soft foods include yoghurt, soup, mashed potatoes, sliced fruits and cut vegetables etc. Food should also be cut into smaller pieces prior to consumption to minimise excessive chewing. Also, hard and crunchy foods such as nuts, pretzels and ice cubes, chewy foods such as toffee, gum and caramel and food that requires the mouth to be opened wide should be avoided.

* Movement and Habits

Movement that requires extreme jaw movement should be avoided. This includes yawning and chewing. Also, yelling and singing should be avoided. Good habits should be adopted as a complement. Avoid resting the chin on the hand and avoid holding the phone between the shoulder and ear. The teeth should also be kept apart to minimise pressure on the jaw. Moreover, relaxation techniques can be adopted to help loosen the jaw. To summarise, good posture, good habits and good movement will help to relieve TMJ/TMD.