TMJ Home Care Instructions
- Avoid chewing tough foods and chewing gum. Your diet should comprise of soft food.
- TMD patients often exhibit clenching and grinding habits which patient must avoid while functioning awake. For night time, we recommend that your dentist fabricates a hard acrylic night guard which you should wear as much as possible on your upper teeth during sleep.
- Physical therapy is an extremely important part in rehabilitation of painful joints. We strongly recommend that our TMD patients perform a series of mouth opening exercises. Mouth should be slowly opened to maximum and then attempted to open another 2mm. This position should be held for a few seconds and then slowly return your jaw to rest. In addition, it is important to move your jaw from side to side (lateral movements) and the forward (protrusive movements). This cycle should be repeated ten (10) times per session for a total of five (5) daily sessions.
- Your doctor will also prescribe you an anti-inflamatory medication (NSAID) such as Motrin and a muscle relaxant such as Flexeril. These medications will need to be taken for 1-2 weeks as prescribed in order to achieve maximum therapeutic effect.
- Be patient! Nothing heals overnight and it is likely that your symptoms may actually get worse in the beginning. However, after 1-2 months you may start noticing improvement in function and decrease in pain.