Do you suffer from temporomandibular joint pain? You are not alone. Many suffer from this ailment which is known as TMJ syndrome. It often occurs when the temporomandibular joint is damaged, misaligned, or even injured in an accident. It can cause pain in the jaw which restricts chewing and can cause popping and clicking, ear pain, and headaches in its sufferers. While there are no quick fixes to fixing the issue and often times the permanent solution is jaw surgery, there are some ways you can keep your symptoms from getting worse. Here are the top 5 ways you can manage your symptoms.

1. Manage your overall stress levels

The symptoms from this jaw ailment is often times made worse by stress. The tension caused by stress leads to tighter muscles in the shoulders, neck, and up to the jaw. This tension minimizes the range of motion allowed and begins to create painful problems. Those suffering from TMJ tend to have stressful lives and require relaxation techniques to minimize the effects this stress has on their body and mind. Meditation practices, yoga, exercise, and other relaxing past times must be incorporated into their lives to help them manage stress.

2. Get a lot of rest

Along with relaxation techniques to soothe some of the stress from everyday life, making sure to have healthy sleep patterns can do wonders as well. Getting enough rest can help you reset after a hard day, prepares you for the next day, helps you regulate all the hormones in your body, and allows for more resistance to stress in the first place. Healthy sleep habits are formed by having a sustainable and repeatable routine. Most people tend to wind down after dinner by listening to music or reading prior to bed.

3. Use a mouth guard at night

Using a mouth guard at night can help alleviate the pain associated with teeth grinding. Many who are suffering from the symptoms of TMJ allows unknowingly grind their teeth together at night. Grinding your teeth will cause tension to build up in the jaw muscles and lead to tooth pain along with the grinding down of tooth enamel. Often people have dreams where their teeth are falling out or they can sense physical pain it is usually due to the friction of teeth grinding. Once diagnosed, wearing a mouth guard can fix this issue.

4. Use home remedies

There are some home remedies available to sufferers of TMJ. Ice packs and over the counter anti-inflammatories can lead to relief. Gentle massages of the back, shoulders, and even jaw can help stimulate circulation leading to relief. Avoiding overly chewy foods or candies such as gums and fruit snacks that put extra strain on the jaw muscles is advised.

5. Try alternative therapies

There are many alternative therapies such as botox, acupuncture, and osteopathic remedies that have helped sufferers manage their symptoms and pain. Many have had favorable experiences with new and alternative methods, so do not rule them out.

Overall, dealing with the effects of TMJ does not have to feel hopeless. Use these 5 times to keep your symptoms from worsening.