How to Relieve TMJ Pain

TMJ, or temporomandibular joint syndrome, causes pain that can negatively impact your quality of life. TMJ may cause jaw pain, facial pain, and other bothersome symptoms.

Fortunately, dentists offer multiple strategies for relieving pain and feeling comfortable again. This blog will explore the spectrum of pain relief methods, starting with at-home supportive care.

Pain Relief Methods for TMJ

Heat and Cold Therapy

Applying warm or cold compresses to painful areas can help relax tight muscles and relieve pain. Try both heat and cold, and use the one that feels best.

Diet Changes

Eating a softer diet is helpful when your TMJ flares up. Avoid hard, crunchy, and chewy foods like steak, nuts, and whole apples.

Reducing Wide Jaw Movements

Opening your mouth too far can cause TMJ discomfort. Try to reduce singing, yelling, and wide yawns.

Gentle Stretching

Your dentist can teach you stretches that can help to loosen the tight muscles around the TMJ joints.

Stress Reduction

Researchers connect TMJ with stress. It can become a vicious cycle, with stress behaviors like grinding teeth and clenching the jaw causing pain, which in turn creates more stress. Yoga, meditation, and relaxation can help.

Control Teeth Grinding

If you habitually grind your teeth, your dentist may recommend an oral appliance that keeps your jaws in the proper position at night.


Muscle relaxants and over-the-counter pain medications can help.


BOTOX injections can help to relax the inflamed muscles and provide pain relief.


In extreme cases of TMJ caused by an injury, disc problem within the joint, or arthritis, your dentist may recommend surgical treatment. Jaw surgery is a major procedure completed by an oral surgeon.

Symptoms of TMJ

Symptoms of TMJ include sore jaws or cheeks, ear pain, pain in the face, headaches, jaw tightness, difficulty opening or closing the mouth, and jaw locking. Your jaw may also make noise when you open your mouth, sometimes accompanied by pain.

Causes of TMJ

The causes of TMJ are not always clear. However, four common causes include:

Frequently Asked Questions About TMJ

Does TMJ go away on its own?

In many cases, TMJ does pass on its own, but some patients endure the pain for years before seeing the dentist. Your dentist's help and advice will help you feel better faster.

Can a car accident cause TMJ?

Car accidents are a common cause of this disorder. Any jolt or blow to the face can cause TMJ pain. Patients who play contact sports are also vulnerable to developing TMJ.

Contact The Ricco Dental Group

You don't have to live with the pain of TMJ. Consult your dentist for help relieving your symptoms and building healthy habits to relax your jaw. We would gladly evaluate your TMJ symptoms and meet with you to create a plan. Please contact us at our convenient Plainview and Massapequa, New York offices today for help.

How to Relieve TMJ Pain | The Ricco Dental Group

If you have TMJ, you know how the pain and discomfort of this condition can impact your quality of life. Fortunately, you can take many steps to relieve your pain.

How TMJ Works

Understanding how to combat the painful symptoms of TMJ starts with knowing how the condition works. TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint. These joints connect your lower jaw and your skull.

The temporomandibular joint is a complex mechanism you can envision as a combination of a ball, socket, and sliding hinge. Jaw injuries, arthritis, teeth grinding, and normal wear and tear can cause problems. The disc inside the joint can also become damaged or dislocated.

Symptoms of TMJ

Stress and TMJ

Stress is a major contributor to the severity of TMJ symptoms. Stress can make you clench your jaw unconsciously during the day or grind your teeth at night. TMJ pain can, in turn, increase your stress levels, leading to a cycle that is difficult to break.

Home Care for TMJ Symptoms

Reduce Stress

Many TMJ patients receive advice to reduce stress in their daily lives, but it isn't always easy to combat this problem. Following are some steps you can take to reduce stress:

Eat Softer Foods

While you are having a TMJ flare-up, stay away from hard, crunchy, chewy, and sticky foods. Eating softer foods can help your jaw muscles relax and alleviate pain.

Avoid Chewing Gum

Gum chewing impacts TMJ pain. Avoid gum while you are having a flare-up or if you are at all prone to TMJ symptoms.

Use Cold and Heat

You can soothe TMJ symptoms by placing cold packs or moist heat on your jaw.

Avoid Wide Jaw Movements

As much as possible, avoid yelling, yawning, and singing while you are having a flare-up.

Care From Your Dentist

Your dentist may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, or you can take over-the-counter pain medication. Your dentist may also fit you with an oral splint to keep your jaws in the correct position while you sleep. In more serious cases, BOTOX injections may be helpful to relax tense muscles.

Call The Ricco Dental Group

TMJ can be a debilitating disorder that you should take seriously. You may need TMJ treatment if you have any of the symptoms described above. Please call our Plainview, NY, office at 516-931-3999 to schedule an appointment with one of our expert dentists. We can help you relieve your pain and move forward with comfort.

Can You Treat TMJ Permanently?

Do you wake up to jaw pain, headaches, and an audible clicking or popping sound when chewing or opening your mouth? If that is the case for you, chances are, you are one of the millions of Americans suffering from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ).

While traditional treatments such as pain medication offer temporary relief, there are alternative therapies that can address the source of TMJ for long-term effects.

Read on to learn about the symptoms, treatment options, and tips for finding permanent solutions for TMJ.

TMJ Symptoms

Temporomandibular joint disorder, more commonly referred to as TMJ, is a condition that affects the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull.

TMJ affects millions of Americans each year - an estimated 10 million cases have been estimated across all 50 states alone. While its exact causes remain unknown, potential factors could include genetics, previous jaw injuries, arthritis, and teeth grinding.

TMJ can manifest through a variety of symptoms that differ for each individual. Common symptoms include:

Traditional treatments for TMJ

Traditional treatments for TMJ include medications, physical therapy, oral appliances, and stress management techniques. More specifically:

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen may temporarily relieve discomfort. Muscle relaxants may be prescribed to alleviate muscle tension. Physical therapy employing jaw exercises, heat/cold therapy, and massage are designed to improve mobility while decreasing pain levels.

Custom-fit oral splints or mouthguards prescribed by dentists may help stop teeth grinding and clenching to alleviate symptoms, while stress management through relaxation techniques and cognitive-behavioral therapy helps combat stress that contributes to TMJ issues.

While such options may offer temporary relief to some patients suffering from TMJ dysfunction, they generally fail to offer lasting solutions and thus many sufferers continue seeking more permanent approaches that fully address the source of their discomfort.

Alternative treatments for TMJ

Alternative treatments for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) aim to address underlying causes and provide lasting relief rather than temporary solutions. These include:

Acupuncture, which inserts thin needles into specific body points, can release jaw muscle tension and reduce TMJ pain.

Chiropractic adjustments help realign the spine and jaw joint to alleviate pressure and discomfort.

Herbal remedies like turmeric, ginger, and magnesium have anti-inflammatory properties that can decrease TMJ inflammation and pain.

Biofeedback increases awareness of muscle tension and teaches control of it, helping manage TMJ symptoms from tension and stress.

These more holistic treatment approaches for TMJ focus on resolving root sources of dysfunction in the joints and muscles. Many patients have found long-term success with alternatives compared to traditional short-term relief methods.

Permanent solutions for TMJ

While traditional and alternative treatments may provide some relief, finding a permanent solution for TMJ typically requires a multifaceted approach with various strategies:

Addressing underlying causes like bruxism or stress through lifestyle changes, stress management, or dental interventions can help prevent recurring symptoms.

Ongoing physical therapy sessions and targeted exercises can improve jaw mobility, strengthen muscles, and prevent further joint damage.

Customized treatment plans developed with TMJ specialists address individual needs and provide long-term solutions.

A multidisciplinary approach involving coordination between dentists, physical therapists, and other providers may be necessary for comprehensive care and permanent results in complex cases.

TMJ Treatment in Plainview

Managing TMJ can be difficult when traditional treatments only offer temporary relief from discomfort and pain. However, with increasing knowledge of TMJ causes and alternative therapy options available, there is hope for finding effective, long-term solutions.

Remember, early intervention is crucial, so seek help right away if TMJ is suspected. With persistence and the right treatment plan, it is possible to overcome the challenges of this disorder. To learn more about our TMJ treatment options in Plainview, contact us at 516-931-3999.

How Long Do TMJ Symptoms Last?

If you’ve noticed pain, discomfort, or clicking sounds in your jaw, you could be experiencing Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, more commonly referred to as TMJ.

While symptoms vary between individuals, these typically include jaw pain, headaches, facial pain, difficulty chewing, and popping noises when opening or closing your mouth.

In this post, we’ll explore how long TMJ symptoms typically last. Understanding the duration is key to managing the condition and finding the right treatment. We’ll also discuss effective remedies you can try at home or with your doctor to alleviate the discomfort.

Common symptoms of TMJ

TMJ disorder can cause an array of symptoms that disrupt daily life. While they vary from person to person, several key symptoms that point to TMJ are:

If you're experiencing painful symptoms that affect basic functions like eating and speaking, TMJ may be the culprit. The good news is that both self-care remedies and professional treatment can help manage these disruptive TMJ symptoms.

Duration of TMJ symptoms

How long do TMJ symptoms last? Unfortunately, the answer varies widely depending on the individual.

In milder cases, symptoms may resolve on their own within several weeks or months. The TMJ flare-up may have been caused by a temporary factor like stress or clenched jaw muscles.

However, for many, TMJ is a chronic condition requiring long-term management. Symptoms like jaw pain, limited motion, and clicking/popping sounds could persist for months or even years without proper treatment. The symptoms may progressively worsen over time as well.

Pay close attention to how long you've had TMJ symptoms and whether they are improving or worsening. This will help you determine if short-term home remedies are sufficient or if you should seek professional diagnosis and treatment for lasting relief.

Don't assume TMJ symptoms will just go away - be proactive in finding a solution tailored to your situation.

Factors that affect the duration of TMJ symptoms

Several factors influence the duration of TMJ symptoms and how long they stick around:

Home remedies for managing TMJ symptoms

If you have mild or occasional TMJ discomfort, these self-care tips may alleviate your symptoms:

While these remedies offer temporary relief, they don't treat the TMJ root cause. If symptoms persist beyond a few weeks, seek professional diagnosis and treatment. A customized care plan can provide lasting relief when home remedies fall short.

Professional treatments for TMJ symptoms

If at-home care and lifestyle tweaks don't adequately control chronic TMJ symptoms, your doctor and dentist may recommend the following professional treatment options:

These clinical treatments should be guided by a TMJ specialist who thoroughly evaluates your case and rules out other conditions. They can then recommend the most suitable options based on your symptoms, health history, and exam findings.

TMJ Treatment in Plainview

TMJ symptoms can persist anywhere from a few weeks to several years. The longevity depends on your unique situation and treatment approach.

In mild cases, basic home remedies like heat/ice packs, soft foods, posture fixes, and stress relief may resolve symptoms within weeks or months.

However, chronic TMJ requires customized professional treatment for lasting relief. This may include physical therapy, medication, dental splints, injections, or surgery.

Working with a TMJ specialist is crucial to identify your symptoms' root causes and tailor an effective treatment plan. Don't assume symptoms will disappear. To learn more about our TMJ treatment options in Plainview, contact us at 516-931-3999.