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7 Lifestyle Changes for Chronic TMJ Pain Management and Healing

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By embracing these 7 lifestyle changes for chronic TMJ pain management you can take an active role in your healing.

7 Lifestyle Changes for Chronic TMJ Pain Management and Healing

Living with chronic TMJ pain can be overwhelming, but there are lifestyle changes you can make to alleviate your symptoms and promote healing. These simple yet powerful adjustments can make a significant difference in managing your TMJ pain and improving your overall quality of life. Let’s explore some lifestyle changes that can help you on your journey to healing.

#1 Adopt a TMJ-Friendly Diet

Making dietary changes can have a positive impact on your TMJ pain. Avoid hard, chewy, or sticky foods that can strain your jaw joints. Choose softer options like cooked vegetables, tender meats, and smoothies. Incorporate anti-inflammatory foods such as fatty fish, leafy greens, turmeric, and ginger into your meals. These foods can help reduce inflammation and support your body’s healing process.

#2 Practice Good Posture

Maintaining proper posture is helpful for TMJ pain management. Be mindful of your posture throughout the day, whether you’re sitting, standing, or walking. Keep your head aligned with your spine, and avoid slouching or forward head positions. Maintaining good posture relieves strain on your jaw joints and promotes optimal alignment.

#3 Avoid Excessive Jaw Movement

Reducing excessive jaw movement can help alleviate TMJ pain. Be mindful of habits such as gum chewing, nail biting, or clenching your jaw. These activities can worsen symptoms and put additional stress on your jaw joints. Instead, practice jaw relaxation exercises and be conscious of avoiding unnecessary jaw movements.

#4 Manage Stress

Stress can intensify TMJ pain and contribute to muscle tension in the jaw area. Incorporate stress management techniques into your daily routine to promote relaxation and reduce pain. Engage in activities such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or hobbies that bring you joy. Find what works best for you and make time for self-care.

#5 Apply Heat or Cold Packs

Applying heat or cold packs can help alleviate TMJ pain and reduce inflammation. Experiment with both heat and cold therapy to see which provides the most relief for you. Apply a warm compress or take a warm shower to relax the jaw muscles. Alternatively, use a cold pack or wrap an ice pack in a cloth and apply it to the affected area for short periods to reduce inflammation.

#6 Get Regular Exercise

Engaging in regular low-impact exercise can improve your overall well-being and help manage TMJ pain. Activities such as walking, swimming, or cycling promote circulation, reduce stress, and release endorphins, which are natural pain relievers. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine suitable exercises for your specific condition.

#7 Practice Jaw Stretching and Relaxation Exercises

Incorporating jaw stretching and relaxation exercises into your daily routine can help relieve TMJ pain and promote healing. Gently open and close your mouth, move your jaw from side to side, and perform gentle stretches to increase jaw mobility. Combine these exercises with deep breathing and relaxation techniques for optimal results.


By embracing these lifestyle changes, you can take an active role in managing your chronic TMJ pain and fostering healing. While it may take time to see significant results, be patient and consistent in implementing these adjustments. With dedication and support, you can pave the way to a brighter, pain-free future.

Remember, it’s important to work closely with your dentist to ensure that these lifestyle changes align with your specific needs. Your dentist can provide personalized guidance, recommend additional therapies or interventions, and monitor your progress along your healing journey.

A dentist who specializes in TMJ treatment can offer more comprehensive treatment that includes non-surgical interventions and oral appliances if necessary.

If you’re suffering from jaw pain or other symptoms of TMJ disorder, we would be happy to help. Dr. Safavi is highly proficient in the complexities of oral & facial pain. She can help you get an accurate diagnosis of your condition as a starting point for effective TMJ/TMD treatment. 

To learn how we can help you, please call (303) 226-6265 to schedule an appointment

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