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Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) - Home Treatment

If your temporomandibular disorder (TMD) symptoms are mild, try home treatment for at least 2 weeks. If your symptoms don't get better or if they get worse during this time, call your doctor or dentist.

Home treatment involves reducing your stress, resting your jaw (by eating only soft or pureed foods), taking steps to reduce pain, and exercising your jaw.

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To help relieve pain and restore jaw function:

  • Try comfort measures such as moist heat, ice, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
  • Do jaw exercises as prescribed by your doctor or physical therapist. Also, pay attention to your jaw, and relax it when you are tense.
  • Change your diet to decrease jaw strain. For example, avoid hard or chewy foods.
  • Manage stress. Many people tend to clench or tighten their muscles when they are under stress of any kind.
  • Change your body mechanics, such as by using good posture for sitting and standing.

If you have been diagnosed with a TMD, these home treatment measures will optimize the treatments prescribed by your doctor or dentist, such as a splint therapy or physical therapy.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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    How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

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    Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

    Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

    SOURCES:

    American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

    This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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