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How do you deal with TMJ pain? Your Augusta family dentist has some suggestions. 

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, usually abbreviated to TMJ, is a common pain disorder, affecting between 10 and 35 million TMJAmericans. If your Augusta, Georgia family dentist has diagnosed you with TMJ, here are some tips for managing your condition from Dr. John D. Massey of Augusta SmileCare.

Heat and ice application

Moist heat from a hot water bottle or damp washcloth can help to alleviate pain and restore some function to the jaw joint. You can also apply ice packs for 10 to 15 minutes at a time for pain and inflammation relief. Your August family dentist Dr. Massey cautions his patients not to overheat the water and never place ice directly on the skin - it should be wrapped in a clean cloth or towel first.

Steer clear of sticky foods

To keep your jaw from working overtime, resist the urge to eat chewy foods like gum or taffy or hard, crunchy items like candy and ice cubes. Your Augusta dentist also cautions against trying to accommodate foods like corn on the cob or applies by opening your mouth too widely. It may be necessary to maintain a soft diet for a few days if you're having a particularly painful flareup of TMJ.

Relax

For optimal dental health, people should try to avoid clenching their jaws together. This is especially important for TMJ patients. Dr. Massey suggests practicing at relaxing your facial muscles relaxed and keeping your upper and lower teeth apart until it becomes a habit. Relaxation methods like deep breathing or meditation can help enhance your efforts. Many TMJ patients have found benefits in yoga or massage therapy as well.

Exercise your jaw

Your Augusta dentist Dr. Massey may refer you to a nearby physical therapist in order to learn some jaw exercises you can do at home. When done consistently and correctly, these exercises have shown to help increase jaw mobility and decrease pain.

If you've been plagued by TMJ symptoms - jaw pain, limited movement, or headaches - contact Augusta SmileCare to have an evaluation as soon as possible.

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John D. Massey, DMD
4200 Columbia Road
Martinez, GA 30907

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