Temporomandibular Joint Pain
Thursday, January 22, 2009

If you are having pain in your upper and lower jaw, Dr. Edward Hill might have an answer to the problem in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, connects the upper and lower jawbones. This joint allows the jaw to open wide and move back and forth when you chew, talk or yawn.

There are many causes of TMJ pain. Repeated chewing, like chewing gum, or clenching your teeth are two actions that can cause pain in the joint.

To help relieve your pain, you can try eating soft foods, using both sides of your mouth to chew, not chewing gum or other chewy foods, opening your mouth wide during yawning or singing, not biting your cheeks or fingernails, and applying a warm, damp compress to the joint. Medicines such as ibuprofen or Tylenol can also help.

There are several simple exercises you can do to make your muscles stronger and to keep the pain from returning. One is the tongue up exercise. Slowly open and close your mouth while keeping the tongue touching the roof of the mouth.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.