If you have been diagnosed with a (TMJ) disorder, a dentist might prescribe pain medications along with a bite guard or stabilization splint. There are many forms of therapy for TMJ disorder, including the application of modalities for pain, exercises to maintain and promote increased range of motion, and invasive procedures such as surgical intervention.
TMJ management options
When the pain comes with teeth grinding, your first thought might be to go for a surgical option. It sounds attractive, especially if there are structural or alignment problems. Nevertheless, it helps to know you have another option altogether. You can improve your condition with the right set of exercises. There are many different types, and you have to learn which exercises can help achieve specific goals such as the increase in the range of motion, muscle strengthening, or restore flexibility of movement, says an expert from TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Northern Indiana.
Exercises to restore range of jaw movement
You can perform simple exercises at home to reduce the intensity of symptoms and help you function better. Sit or stand in front of the mirror and open your mouth as far as it will go. If you start experiencing pain, stop the movement. Do not open your mouth to the point where you are experiencing pain. Just close and open alternately and slowly within the pain-free range. Do this for a few minutes twice a day.
Exercises to decrease pain while relaxing the muscles
To do this exercise, find a chair you can comfortably sit on for five minutes. Close your mouth but caution against clenching your teeth. Just touch the lower teeth with the upper teeth and rest your tongue behind the upper teeth. Focus on your tongue and run it from the front of the back while maintaining the alignment of your teeth. Keep your entire body relaxed while doing this exercise.
You can do the exercises described above at home to alleviate some of the symptoms of the temporomandibular joint disease. If your symptoms continue to worsen, immediately consult your doctor or dentist for treatment options.