TMJ Treatment

Top 10 Essential Tips For TMJ Treatment

If you feel frequent, persistent pain in your teeth and jaw area, you may suffer from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. The temporomandibular joints are the two joints connecting your lower jaw to your skull. These joints consist of the mandible (the lower jaw) and the temporal bone (the side and base of the skull), sliding and rotating in front of each ear. The TMJ facilitates basic activities, such as chewing, speaking, yawning, swallowing, etc.

The TMJ is susceptible to damage, often caused by overuse, injury, and degenerative conditions. These disorders cause severe pain and make it difficult for you to perform activities that involve moving your lower jaw. Therefore, this article will provide essential tips on TMJ treatment and the role of physical therapy at FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers – McKinney Coit in treating this disorder.

Causes of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

The following are some of the most common causes of temporomandibular joint disorder in McKinney, TX:

  • Jaw injury: Trauma or injury to the jaw region is one of the most common causes of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). A direct blow to the head or jaw area during an accident, sports, or even physical assault can damage the temporomandibular jaw, contributing to TMJ disorder. Neck injuries, such as whiplash, can also contribute to TMJ disorder due to the forceful movement of the head and neck.
  • Arthritis in the jaw joint: Arthritis is a degenerative condition caused by joint inflammation. This condition can wear down the cartilage of the temporomandibular joint, causing significant pain and contributing to TMJ disorder.
  • Malocclusion: Occlusion refers to the alignment of the teeth that determines an individual’s bite (how the upper and lower teeth align). Malocclusion is a dental problem due to the improper alignment of the upper and lower teeth. Misaligned teeth may put uneven pressure on the TMJ while chewing and performing other activities that require moving the jaw. This condition may strain the TMJ’s muscles, contributing to a disorder.
  • Bruxism: This condition refers to the frequent and unconscious grinding and clenching of the teeth. While bruxism may be an unconscious act, it puts excessive force on the TMJ, causing muscle weakness and joint pain, which may contribute to TMJ disorder.
  • Lifestyle factors: An individual’s bad habits may also cause them to develop temporomandibular joint disorder. Habits such as frequent, excessive chewing of gum poor posture, and ergonomics can contribute to muscle strain in the neck and jaws.
  • Psychological factors: While physical activities or occurrences are the primary causes of TMJ disorder, mental and emotional factors may be their catalysts. High levels of depression, anxiety, and stress can cause muscle tension as individuals may use bruxism and other bad habits as coping mechanisms.

Other common causes of TMJ disorder include genetics, hormonal factors, infections, etc.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment Options

TMJ disorder is a serious condition that can severely affect your physical and mental health. This condition can cause severe pain that may immobilize you and even prevent you from performing basic activities of daily living. Therefore, you should be looking to get rid of your TMJ disorder immediately after you notice it. The following are essential tips that are helpful for TMJ treatment in McKinney, TX:

Understand the Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

The first step to getting rid of your TMJ disorder is understanding how to recognize it. Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:

  • Jaw pain and tenderness
  • Frequent headaches
  • Earaches, ringing in the ear, or aching pain around the ear
  • Difficulty or severe discomfort while chewing
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Dizziness
  • Toothache
  • Facial pain and pain around the neck and shoulders
  • Clicking or popping sensation while chewing, yawning, or opening the mouth
  • Limited range of motion for the mouth
  • Malocclusion

Jaw Exercises

If you notice mild symptoms of TMJ disorder, you can perform jaw exercises to help manage the disorder and prevent it from becoming severe. Jaw exercises are gentle movements that aim to relieve pain, reduce muscle tension, strengthen the jaw muscles, and improve jaw mobility. Examples of jaw exercises that can help with your TMJ include mandibular stabilization exercise, goldfish exercise, side-to-side jaw exercise, tongue-up exercise, etc.

Maintain a Good Posture

Poor posture and ergonomics can contribute to temporomandibular joint disorders. Certain positions can hurt your TMJ by straining your neck and jaw muscles. If you notice symptoms of TMJ disorder, you should practice good posture by ensuring that your computer screen is at eye level while working, keeping your shoulders relaxed, taking breaks in between long periods of sitting, etc.

Manage Stress

If you realize that you are showing mild symptoms of TMJ disorder, you should take prioritize your rest. Stress is one of the psychological factors that can trigger bad habits, such as teeth grinding or clenching, which contribute to TMJ disorder. Adequate rest, frequent exercise, and meditation are methods that can help to manage and reduce your stress levels, managing TMJ disorder.

Modify Your Diet

Crunchy, hard, and chewy food items can contribute to TMJ disorder because of the additional strain they put on your jaw. If you notice any signs of TMJ disorder, you may have to change your diet to accommodate softer and easy-to-chew food items to reduce the strain on your jaw and temporomandibular joint. Cutting up your food into smaller portions and pieces while eating can also contribute to the management of TMJ disorder.

Apply Heat or Cold Therapy

Pain is one of the most common symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Therefore, managing pain is one of the steps involved in treating TMJ disorder. Applying hot or cold compresses to the affected area can help relieve TMJ-related pain by reducing inflammation, relaxing tense muscles, and increasing blood flow.

Use Protective Devices

Bruxism is the uncontrollable and unconscious grinding of teeth while sleeping or during the day. This uncontrollable grinding and clenching of teeth put excessive strain on the temporomandibular joint. However, dental devices such as splints and mouthguards can help prevent further damage to your jaw and temporomandibular joint by aligning your jaw and preventing teeth grinding.

Lifestyle Modifications

Making some changes in your lifestyle choices after discovering symptoms of TMJ disorder can go a long way in managing the condition. To reduce strain on your jaw and TMJ, you should avoid habits like nail biting, excessive gum chewing, and resting your chin on your hand. Keeping a good posture and ergonomically customizing your home and work environment can also contribute to TMJ disorder management.

Avoid Extreme Jaw Movements

Wide yawning, screaming, excessive gum chewing, and other activities that require extreme jaw movements can worsen TMJ disorder and its symptoms. If you suffer from TMJ-related symptoms, you should avoid activities that require extreme jaw movements.

Seek Professional Help

While these tips can be very helpful in treating and managing TMJ disorder symptoms, it is essential to consult your healthcare provider when dealing with TMJ disorder. One of the most effective treatment options for TMJ disorder is physical therapy in McKinney, TX. Physical therapists can use therapeutic exercises and other treatment techniques to ease muscle tension and improve jaw movement. They can also use pain management techniques to relieve TMJ-related pain and discomfort.


Temporomandibular joint disorder cause severe pain and discomfort that can limit your mobility and physical function. This condition can hinder you from performing basic activities of daily living and reduce your overall quality of life. Failure to treat TMJ disorder early can lead to other complications that may require surgery and other invasive procedures. However, physical therapy offers an effective solution for treating and managing TMJ disorder and its related symptoms. Therefore, if you suspect that you have TMJ disorder, you should consider undergoing physical therapy at FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers – McKinney Coit.

Similar Posts