Ask a Dentist

May 14, 2020

Q: What can I do to relieve TMJ-related jaw pain?

Graphic of person in pain holding their jaw

A: If your TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) pain is intense or has been going on for several years, check with your dentist who may refer you to a physiotherapist, chiropractor or behavioural therapist. Remember TMJ symptoms may be caused by ill-fitting dentures and even fingernail or pencil biting.

Otherwise, try over-the-counter medications for inflammation and joint pain. Use a cold or warm compress, depending on what feels good. Eat soft foods. Be mindful of how wide you open your mouth, even when yawning. Wearing a mouthguard at night will prevent any extra pain from teeth grinding. Friction, kneading or stretching massaging help as well; aim for the masseter muscles which are just below your cheekbones and behind your molars.

For many people, TMJ symptoms go away on their own over time. Remember TMJs may be caused by ill-fitting dentures and even fingernail or pencil biting. Chew responsibly and avoid any unnecessary pressure on your jaw.

If you’re still concerned or have had TMJ pain for a while, schedule an appointment today at one of our Winnipeg clinics (located at St. Vital Centre and Garden City Shopping Centre).