Are you experiencing jaw pain?  This is commonly known as TMJ, and it is something that your dentist can actually help you with. Here are some potential treatment options to get the relief you need.

Get Braces

If the pain you are experiencing is caused by your jaw not aligning properly, then your dentist is going to recommend that you get braces. While you may not be thrilled about getting braces as an adult, know that the treatment is likely to be effective, because adults are more likely to follow through with the home care that is necessary.  While it will take a while for the realignment to be complete, it will provide you with a lifetime of relief that doesn't require taking any medications. 

Wear A Mouthguard

Another option is to use a mouthguard, which is also referred to as a splint. The goal of using a mouthguard is to give your jaw the rest it needs while you are sleeping, so that your joints can be trained to relax.  Not only can this provide help with TMJ discomfort, but it will protect your teeth at night if you tend to grind your teeth. If you try getting a mouthguard from your local pharmacy, chances are that it will feel uncomfortable.  Your dentist can actually custom make a mouthguard that will be much more comfortable, which will encourage you to wear it regularly. 

Change Your Diet

Your dentist may recommend that you make changes to your diet that are going to help rest your jaw. This means avoiding foods that are very chewy, such as tough meat that will put a lot of pressure on your jaw. You may also be told to avoid chewing gum, which puts unnecessary stress on your jaw over time. You may be surprised at the difference switching to softer foods will make when it comes to TMJ discomfort.

Use Warm Compresses

If you are having a flare up with your TMJ, you can try using warm compresses on your jaw to relieve the pain.  Try putting a warm compress on the area for 20 minutes, then take it off for 20 minutes.  Keep repeating this as necessary, making sure not to keep the warm compress on one spot for too long.

Take A Pain Reliever

You can use an anti-inflammatory pain reliever to help deal with flare ups as well.  It's a good idea to not use these for more than a day or two, since it shouldn't be a long term solution to TMJ.  Just use it when you are experiencing bad discomfort. 

For more information about TMJ discomfort, or other dental needs, contact a family dentist by visiting a website like