Signs and Symptom
1. Pain in the chewing muscles or jaw joint on either side of the head.
2. Recurring headaches or earaches.
3. Noticeable popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joints when opening or closing the mouth.
4. Pain that spreads to the face, neck, or shoulders.
5. Difficulty opening the mouth because it feels locked or painful.
What to do now
1. Massage the muscles above and in front of your temples, as well as the large muscles along your jaw line. Use small, circular motions.
2. If your pain is severe, limit talking and chewing for a few days. Rest your jaw by eating soft or liquid foods.
3. Apply hot or cold pack available in drugstores, or a damp warm or cool towel for pain relief hold for a few minutes.
4. Don’t clench your teeth.
5. Take an anti-inflammatory pain reliever such as ibuprofen.
When to call a doctor
1. If the pain of Temporomandibular Disorder interferes with eating or talking.
2. If you feel uneasy during grinding or clenching.
How to prevent it
1. Be cautious about not to clench or grind your teeth.
2. Take steps to decreases stress. Reducing stress through relaxation techniques may be the most effective treatment.
3. If you are prone to jaw pain, stay away from chew foods such as steak, and hard foods such as carrots and guava, or apples. Don’t gum, pencils, or other objects.
4. To lessen the strain on bones and muscles in the jaw, don’t sleep on your stomach.