How Do I Get Pain Relief For My TMJ?

How Do I Get Pain Relief For My TMJ?


TMJ pain is a common symptom of TMD. TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint where your lower jaw connects to your skull. TMD stands for temporomandibular joint disorder, meaning that there is a problem with the joint. TMD is characterized by pain in the jaw that can be persistent or occur when you open your mouth or bite down. There are a few different ways to get relief from TMJ pain. What works for you may depend on the severity of your case. 

What Causes TMJ Disorder (TMD)?

In order to understand the treatment for TMJ disorder, it helps to understand the cause. TMJ disorder is caused by overuse or stress of some kind to the joint. Chronic teeth grinding or clenching can put strain on the TMJ, as well as an injury to the jaw that may have thrown the jaw out of alignment. Orthodontic conditions such as overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite can lead to TMJ pain. When the upper and lower jaw don’t meet up properly, it can result in TMJ disorder. 

Treatment for TMJ pain can be divided into 3 levels:

Level 1 Treatment: Home Remedies

The first steps to take when you have TMJ pain are some basic things you can do at home: 

  • Apply ice to the affected area to reduce swelling and inflammation. 
  • Rest your jaw as much as possible. Avoid talking, yawning, and anything else that causes you to open your mouth very widely. 
  • Eat soft foods or a liquid diet that doesn’t require chewing. 
  • Take anti-inflammatory over the counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen. 

Level 2 Treatment: Professional Intervention 

If the above home remedies don’t provide relief or if your pain returns after medication wears off for more than a week, seek professional treatment. Hass Family Orthodontics can provide the following: 

  • Professional diagnosis of TMJ disorder. 
  • Create a custom mouthguard to absorb the impact of teeth grinding and clenching to reduce stress on the jaw and TMJ. 
  • Provide orthodontic treatment to straighten the teeth and realign the bite to prevent strain on the TMJ. Orthodontic treatment can provide long term prevention of TMJ disorder. 

Level 3 Treatment: Surgery 

When no other treatment options have been effective, you may benefit from surgical intervention. The joint may need to be reconstructed from the inside to restore proper alignment of the jaw and remove any scar tissue from long term joint damage. Surgery is only recommended as a last resort when other treatments have failed to provide relief. TMJ surgery can often provide permanent relief of your jaw pain. 

Why See an Orthodontist for TMJ Disorder?

There are benefits of going to an orthodontist for TMJ treatment. While some remedies and treatments only provide temporary relief, orthodontic treatment gets to the source of the problem to provide permanent relief of TMJ symptoms. If your TMJ disorder is caused by misalignment of the teeth or bite, orthodontic treatment can correct the problem. Braces, Invisalign, or other orthodontic appliances can reposition your teeth and reshape your jaw so that the upper and lower jaw meet together properly with the bite force distributed evenly across all of your teeth. Orthodontic treatment provides a wide variety of dental and oral health benefits. 

Hass Family Orthodontics Provides TMJ Treatment

If you have pain in your jaw, face, head, or ears it may be due to TMJ disorder. It is also common to have limited range of motion in your jaw, preventing you from opening and closing your mouth freely. We can diagnose and treat your TMD, providing long term relief by treating the condition at the source of the problem. 

Call 828-464-5300 today to schedule or request an appointment