4 Self-Care Tips for Managing TMJ Pain At-Home

Dentist in Calgary Serving Northwest, Downtown, and Nearby Calgary, Alberta


tmj pain

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain can range from tolerable and slightly annoying to long-lasting and agonizing. While there really isn’t any substitute for real TMJ treatment, if you can’t get to the doctor for a few months or have another extenuating circumstance there are some at-home care tips that can help curb the pain.

TMJ Disorder Symptoms

While the following symptoms are typically associated with pain originating from the TMJ, it’s important to find out if the TMJ is truly the source of your pain. Seeking an assessment from a dentist is the best way to know for sure if your symptoms are consistent with temporomandibular joint disorder. Some of the most common symptoms associated with TMJ disorder include: 

  • Jaw problems: These can include popping, clicking or grinding sounds, as well as lockjaw or stiffness.
  • Head conditions: These can include dizziness and migraine-like headaches.
  • Facial symptoms: These can include swelling, pain and muscle fatigue.
  • Ear issues: These can include difficulty hearing, ringing (tinnitus) and pain.
  • Body aches: These can include pain in the neck and shoulders.

4 Self-Care Tips for TMJ Pain

Four of the most effective things you can do from home to help ease your TMJ pain include:

  • Eating soft foods
  • Applying ice packs
  • Avoiding extreme jaw movements
  • Learning to relax and reduce stress

1. Eating Soft Foods

Eating softer foods can help put less stress on jaw muscles. Because harder foods require more pressure to break down, they can cause additional strain on the jaw joint and associated muscle groups. 

2. Applying Ice Packs

Applying an ice pack to the affected area can help slow blood flow, preventing inflammation and reducing pain. Ice packs can also help to numb the area, which can provide temporary relief as well.

3. Avoiding Extreme Jaw Movements

Extreme jaw movements, like those that require additional tension or strain on the joint include: yawning, loud singing, and gum chewing. Stretching the jaw to take large bites or yell are also consistent with the kind of extreme jaw movements that iriitate TMJ pain. Avoiding these kinds of things to the best of your ability can help keep pesky TMJ pain at bay.

4. Learning to Relax and Reduce Stress

Learning to relax and reduce stress are also important things someone can do from home to reduce the affects of TMJ-induced pain. Stress can lead people to subconsciously clench their jaw putting additional stress on the joint and causing pain. Other stress habits like repetitive lip or cheek chewing can exacerbate jaw pain as well. Both of these stress responses strain the jaw and can promote more pain, making practicing stress management exercises like meditation, prayer, or exercise, important factors in reducing TMJ pain.

Contact Evolution Dental Today

If you live in Calgary, Northwest Calgary, Cochrane or other nearby areas of Alberta and would like to learn more about your TMJ pain treatment options, you can call Evolution Dental today at 403-768-2433 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kendra Schick.


*all procedures performed at our practice by a general dentist