How Do You Calm A TMJ Flare-Up?

Tmj,Medical,Abbreviation,Of,Temporomandibular,Joint.,Tmj,Letters,Surrounded,By Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is complex, and treatment plans need to be personalized to ensure every patient’s unique symptoms are addressed properly. The pain and discomfort associated with this condition may not be the same every day. Many people find that their TMD symptoms get better and then come back. It is also common to have TMJ flare-ups.

A TMJ flare-up is characterized by new or worsening TMD symptoms. It can be triggered by certain behaviors and habits. Keep reading for a list of common triggers and pain relief tips.

What Makes TMJ Flare Up?

The temporomandibular joint consists of two joints on either side of the face that allow the jaw to open and close. Each joint acts as a hinge, sliding and rotating in front of each ear. TMD is more than an issue with the joints — it affects the nerves, bones, and facial muscles and how they operate together.

When a patient experiences a TMJ flare-up, this means they have a worsening of symptoms or the onset of symptoms that had previously abated. If you find yourself searching for TMJ flare-up relief, it’s important to identify your unique triggers.

Common TMJ Pain Triggers

A few leading TMJ triggers include:

  • Stress
  • Teeth grinding
  • Hard or chewy foods
  • Sleeping on your stomach
  • Poor posture

Learning to recognize and address your triggers can help you avoid TMJ flare-ups. It can also help minimize their duration and severity.

How Long Do TMJ Flare-Ups Last?

It depends on the patient. Some may only have flare-ups lasting a few days, while others can struggle with ongoing TMJ symptoms for several weeks. While temporary treatments like applying hot and cold compresses and eating soft food can help, it is important to seek professional treatment for long-term relief. This is especially true if you notice your symptoms becoming more severe with each flare-up or the TMJ flaring up more frequently.

Dr. Chung can help identify the cause of your TMJ flare-ups and develop a personalized, effective treatment plan that targets your exact symptoms. With his expertise in the facial region, as well as advanced training in TMJ treatment, he ensures every patient receives the highest quality of care.

How To Treat a TMJ Flare-Up

The best treatment will be personalized to a patient’s unique symptoms and needs. Some potential solutions include physical therapy, hot and cool compresses, medication, and resting the temporomandibular joint.

Some patients may find that wearing a custom-made oral appliance can help reduce TMJ symptoms by preventing behavioral triggers like teeth clenching or grinding.

It’s best to work with an experienced TMJ dentist near you to determine what types of treatments would be most effective. At times, it can take trial and error for patients to find the right balance of treatments for their symptoms.

If you have a TMJ flare-up for weeks, seeking professional care can help. Some patients live with a TMJ flare-up for months, unsure if anything can really help their symptoms. Please do not live in pain or discomfort. Visit us at Softouch Dental Care in Oakton, VA, to meet with Dr. Chung, who can help you find the relief you deserve.

How To Help TMJ Flare-Up

In addition to professional care, self-care can also be beneficial. Take note of your symptoms, and identify actions or behaviors that cause them to worsen. When patients are able to determine the underlying causes of their TMJ, it becomes easier to avoid flare-ups.

Some triggers, like teeth grinding, can be treated with a mouthguard. Others may require more extensive treatment. For patients whose TMJ flare-up stems from structural misalignment, orthodontic treatment may be the best long-term solution.

By moving the jaw into a more functional position, orthodontics may help permanently treat TMJ symptoms and prevent future flare-ups.

In your search for how to soothe TMJ flare-up, here are some potential options you can try today:

  • Jaw relaxation techniques. Focusing on the jaw and consciously releasing tension, unclenching the teeth, and lowering the shoulders can help reduce TMJ pain.
  • Deep breathing. For patients whose TMJ flare-ups are attributed to stress, deep breathing can help lower your stress hormone levels, relax your body, and soothe jaw pain.
  • Eat softer foods. During a TMJ flare-up, it is best to avoid hard or chewy foods that put additional stress on the TMJ. Instead, opt for softer foods or a liquid diet that keeps you full but is easy to chew and digest.
  • Hot and cold packs. For the first 24-48 hours of a flare-up, cool compresses can reduce inflammation After, a warm compress can increase circulation and promote further pain relief.

How Do You Calm a TMJ Flare-Up?

The best way to address your TMJ flare-up is to visit a neuromuscular dentist. During your initial appointment at Softouch Dental Care in Oakton, Dr. Michael Chung will use a TENS unit to help your jaw muscles relax. This should provide some immediate relief. Then, he will develop an ongoing treatment plan that may include dental work, an orthotic device, physical therapy, and pain medication.

While seeking help from a TMD specialist is ideal, there are things that you can do at home to find temporary relief from your symptoms, such as:

  • Managing your stress
  • Wearing a nightguard if you suffer from bruxism
  • Applying heat or ice to the afflicted area
  • Avoiding foods that overwork your jaw
  • Avoiding resting your head on your chin
  • Sleeping on your back

“I had a cross bite and a severe bite misalignment that was causing TMJ. I suffered from chronic neck and jaw pain and was prone to headaches once or twice a week… Thanks to Dr. Chung and the entire Softouch family, I feel confident and smile often. I am surprisingly free of neck and jaw pain [and] chronic headaches.” -Patient Review

Get Help from Our Oakton TMJ Dentist

Dr. Michael Chung has received advanced TMJ training. He can treat your disorder and alleviate your painful symptoms. An experienced neuromuscular dentist, Dr. Chung takes pride in finding the right solution for each patient’s needs.

Call 703-319-6990 today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chung. Softouch Dental Care serves patients across Northern Virginia, including Oakton, Vienna, and McLean.

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What Happens in a Consultation?

  • 01.

    Get to know Dr. Chung.

  • 02.

    Help him understand you and your goals.

  • 03.

    Learn about his services and specialties.

“Dr. Chung is the best, he has cared for me for over 15 years. He is always available. He has been attentive and taken care of all my issues before they were painful or bad. He has helped me with a good program for taking care of my teeth and they are beautiful. I receive complements about my pretty teeth and smile. The staff is attentive to detail they have prevented the things we dread. I have great respect for his care and his opinions and so happy to have found him.”

– Patricia Debearn

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