Dr. Grossan's Ear, Nose and Throat Consultant Pages

TMJ Pain

Do you have Temperomandibular (TMJ) pain?

TMJ pain refers to the joint of the jaw located just in front of the ear canal. With TMJ problems the muscles of the jaw become unequal and the person preferentially opens the jaw to the side of the stronger muscles. It is important to open the jaw exactly in the midline so that the muscles stay balanced. Draw a straight line on a mirror. Mark the midline of your nose, lips, chin. Seat yourself comfortably. Use the relaxation exercises to relax and allow your jaw to open. Use the mirror as a biofeedback mechanism to see the jaw open in the midline. Don't consciously open the jaw, instead, allow it to open, so that it automatically opens midline. Also use the mirror to SEE your face relax. When you see your face relax, you know you are doing this right. Breathe in at the count of 4 and out at the count of 6. As you exhale, let this be a signal to relax the jaw, the face, the brow. For TMJ you need to do the mirror 10 minutes a day, twice a day for 10 days.

If the jaw is painful, take papain/ bromelain proteolytic enzyme tablets, and dissolve them in the mouth, between the cheek and the gums. This reduces joint swelling, hence the pain, and helps the jaw to assume the midline position. Be sure to check the enzyme potency of any enzyme tablets you use - . Don't chew, rest the jaw by supporting it gently with an ace bandage or a bandana - just enough to take the weight off. Mouth breathing aggravates TMJ problems so check the nose and sinus and correct mouth breathing. See SINUS DISEASE.

A nice introduction to Biofeedback is given in the pages of LifeMatters.

Copyright© 1996, 2000, Hydro Med, inc.

Back to The On-Line ENT-Consultant Home Page
Last Update 2003 December 14
Murray Grossan M.D.