Tips to Help Alleviate TMJ Disorder

Tmj Hackensack, NJ

TMJ, or the temporomandibular joint, can be a painful disorder that makes simple tasks like chewing uncomfortable and unpleasant. While it can be difficult to determine why a person is experiencing pain in this joint, there are ways that they can be managed, often without invasive procedures. Pain is often experienced in the jaw or while using the jaw, such as when talking or eating. In those who grind their teeth often, they may also experience soreness or tenderness in this joint. Thankfully, there are many options to minimize the discomfort experienced.

Symptoms and diagnosis

Those who deal with TMJ pain frequently experience popping, locking, facial, ear, or jaw pain. It may limit your mobility or influence your ability to eat. Many patients also have tenderness and may not wish to open their mouths. There are multiple potential causes from erosion of joints, arthritis, damage, consistent grinding or clenching of the teeth, or trauma.

A correct diagnosis is made by a dentist who will look and feel around your jaw areas and muscles. At this time, it’s ideal to discuss any range of motion issues or specific movements that may be hindered. You may need X-rays or scans to look at the bones, disks, or soft tissues around the joint. There is also a procedure called arthroscopy, which includes inserting a small camera into the joint space to observe the area.


Many treatments for TMJ can be done at home, including some small habit changes. For instance, you can complete physical therapy that will teach you how to stretch and strengthen the targeted muscles that may be causing discomfort. You can also alter your diet to eat foods that are softer and have less strain on your muscles. Examples include yogurt, oatmeal, or softer fruits and vegetables. Things like gum or candy are more likely to make you chew more often, putting more stress on your jaw.

Some other simple remedies include using ice and warm compresses for any inflammation. Some stress-relief and relaxation techniques can also help ease the tension that may be linked to the jaw. If you tend to bite your nails or lips, try to avoid doing so. Many places sell certain nail polishes or lip creams that will make the taste unappealing to curb the habit.

Tips on oral hygiene 

Since opening the mouth can be painful for people with this diagnosis, regular dental maintenance may be difficult to do. Things like brushing your teeth or using mouth wash require opening the mouth and using the jaw muscles. Using an electric toothbrush or water flosser may be an easier option to get hard-to-reach dental areas. There may be other ways you can remove plaque that may not require flossing; however, those should be discussed with your dental professional first. While TMJ can be uncomfortable, it does occasionally go away on its own. With proper maintenance and oversight, the diagnosis is manageable and can be less painful.

Request an appointment here: or call Rolando Cibischino D.M.D. at (201) 204-1355 for an appointment in our Hackensack office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: TMJ Dentist in Hackensack, NJ.

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