How Can You Reduce TMJ Pain?

Posted on: 24 November 2019

The shoulder, hip, and temperomandibular joints are some of the most complex in the human body due to their extensive ranges of motion. However, the TMJ joint doesn't get as much attention as the other two. It's no less capable of becoming overstressed and causing severe pain.

Many people have TMJ pain without realizing what's causing their symptoms. In some cases, the pain can be severe enough to drastically affect someone's quality of life. If you have frequent headaches and jaw soreness, it may be caused by a problem with your TMJ. You may also hear popping and clicking noises when you move your mouth. If you think that you may be suffering from TMJ pain, read on to find out the ways that you can potentially find relief.

Lifestyle Changes

You can make some easy changes to your life in order to help reduce TMJ pain. If you chew on ice, regularly eat hard candy, or hold pencils or pens between your teeth, stopping these behaviors can lead to a reduction in TMJ pain. They all place pressure on your TMJ, which can damage it.

Practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation may also be able to reduce your TMJ pain. One of the biggest contributors to TMJ pain is clenching your teeth throughout the day and grinding your teeth at night. These both place extreme stress on the muscles that move your jaw, which wears them out and leads to TMJ pain. Decreasing the amount of stress in your life can help you break these habits, leading to a reduction in pain.


Medication can also help control your TMJ pain. If your TMJ pain is severe, you may need to have a doctor prescribe you pain medication in order to reduce it. However, pain medication doesn't treat the underlying cause of TMJ. For that, muscle relaxants and anti-anxiety medication can be used. Muscle relaxants help you to avoid tensing your jaw muscles too hard, which can make your pain worse, and anti-anxiety medication can help stop you from clenching or grinding your teeth.


Orthodontic treatment is another method of reducing TMJ pain. If you grind your teeth at night, an orthodontist can create a custom mouth guard for you to wear while you sleep. The mouth guard is designed to make it impossible for you to grind your teeth. Since the nighttime teeth grinding is done unconsciously, you may have to wear a mouth guard in order to finally stop it from contributing to your TMJ pain.

Splints can also be used to reduce TMJ pain. These are also worn at night, and their purpose is to move your jaw into a neutral position that keeps your jaw muscles relaxed. This allows your jaw muscles to rest at night, which can lead to significantly reduced TMJ pain the next day.

TMJ pain can also be caused by a poor bite. Every time you chew or clench your teeth, a poor bite places uneven strain on your jawbone and the muscles in your jaw, and this can lead to TMJ pain. Braces can help you correct your bite into a perfectly formed one, which evens out the forces you exert on your jawbone and muscles while you chew.

If you're suffering from constant TMJ pain, adult orthodontic treatment may be the answer you need. Orthodontists are the specialists who are most able to treat TMJ pain, as they have extensive knowledge of the muscles and ligaments that comprise the joint. Schedule an appointment with an orthodontist near you to have your TMJ examined and to find out which treatment option will be best for your situation.