4 Ways to Ease TMD Symptoms from a TMJ Specialist in San Bruno

The disorders associated with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), known as TMD, can be painful and inconvenient. Symptoms like jaw and ear pain, headaches, and difficulty chewing can really put a damper on daily life. Thankfully, there are several approaches to reduce discomfort and improve jaw function. Simply Dentistry offers TMJ/TMD treatment, and below are some effective methods to ease pain between appointments. 

#1 Eat Right to Reduce Inflammation

The food you eat can affect your well-being, including that of your TMJ. Body inflammation often exacerbates chronic pain, so adopting a more anti-inflammatory diet can be beneficial. Here are some dietary swaps to consider:


  • Switch to Soft Foods: Hard, chewy, or crunchy foods can strain your jaw, so opt for softer alternatives like steamed veggies, smoothies, and fish. 
  • Adopt Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Found in fish like salmon and mackerel, omega-3s have been linked to reduced inflammation according to the Arthritis Foundation
  • Avoid Trigger Foods: Sugary or highly processed foods can make inflammation worse. Temporarily cutting out these items could provide relief for your TMJ pain.

#2 Practice Stress-Relief Techniques

Stress is a major trigger for TMJ pain. When you’re stressed, the body’s response can involve clenching the jaw or grinding teeth—habits that strain the TMJ. To combat this, incorporate stress-relief techniques into your daily routine. Some techniques to try include:


  • Deep Breathing Exercises: When you feel stress rising, take a moment to pause and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. This can help relax the jaw and reduce the bruxism (teeth grinding) that often accompanies stress.
  • Meditation and Mindfulness: Regular meditation sessions can train your mind to stay present and calm. You’ll also be more aware when your body is tensing or your jaw is clenching, helping you release the stress.
  • Regular Exercise: Physical activity is a great way to release tension and manage stress. However, be mindful of high-impact exercises or contact sports that could injure or aggravate your jaw.

#3 Adopt Posture and Jaw Habits

Believe it or not, how you sit and carry yourself can have a significant impact on your TMJ health. Good posture promotes proper spine alignment and reduces jaw and neck muscle tension. Here are some tips to consider:


  • Again, Stay Mindful: Whether sitting at a desk or standing, try to keep your spine in alignment, with your head positioned directly over your shoulders.
  • Don’t Overuse Your Jaw: While communication is key for social and professional life, if you’re dealing with a flare up of your TMD symptoms, try to limit talking or singing. 
  • Guard Against Bruxism: If you grind your teeth at night, a custom night guard from Simply Dentistry in San Francisco Bay Area can protect your teeth and alleviate jaw pressure.

#4 Seek Professional Treatment

For many, the above self-care techniques bring TMJ pain relief. However, if symptoms persist or worsen, professional care is essential. Our San Bruno dentist specializes in TMJ and can offer treatments like:


  • Mouth guards
  • Physical therapy exercises
  • Medication
  • Surgery


We also offer care for some of the consequences of TMJ dysfunction, like cracked tooth repair. We can even offer additional prevention and protection for your teeth with treatments like dental sealants, which we can apply at your next cleaning and checkup

Let’s Conquer TMJ Pain Together

The bottom line is, if your jaw pain is interfering with your life, don’t let it sabotage you anymore. TMJ pain doesn’t have to be a lifelong sentence. By making a few changes to your diet and lifestyle and seeking professional treatment, managing or even eliminating TMJ symptoms is entirely possible. Don’t suffer in silence. Contact Simply Dentistry today to make your TMD appointment.