HOW TO Relieve TMJ Jaw Pain

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) pain does not last long for many people. In some cases, TMJ pain may go away on its own. But others can end up experiencing TMJ pain and discomfort every day.

Regardless, there are things you can do to relieve your TMJ jaw pain!

This article is going to walk you through what you can do to relieve your jaw pain today! We are going to focus on the relieving pain in the muscles and ligaments connected to your temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

woman with TMJ Jaw pain

Did You Know:

According to the National Health Institute, TMJ disorders affect over 10 million Americans?

What You Can Do Right Now:

In a survey conducted by the TMJ Association (TMJA), 74% of TMJ patients said that they use hot or cold compresses to find relief from pain in their jaw joint. This may also work for you!


  • When you feel a dull, steady ache in your jaw, apply a warm, wet cloth to the area to increase blood flow and relax jaw muscles. Apply the moist heat for 10 to 20 minutes. 


  • When you feel a sharp pain in your TMJ, apply cold packs or ice packs wrapped in a dry cloth to the area to decrease inflammation and numb the pain. Apply cold packs for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Medications that can provide pain relief:

To relieve TMJ pain, you may want to try over-the-counter drugs, such as Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Ecotrin, or Tylenol.

Prefer Essencial Oils?

Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, sweet marjoram, and clary sage have been known to provide temporary relief from TMJ jaw pain.

Massages That Relieve TMJ Pain:

Trigger Point Therapy:

Trigger points are hyper-tensed muscles, also known as muscle knots, that causes muscle aches and pains in your jaw. The muscle that covers your jaw and is used for chewing and jaw clenching is your masseter muscle. Overusing the masseter muscle can cause inflammation and pain.

In a trigger point therapy session for your TMJ, the massage therapist starts by gently relaxing the masseter muscle, and then applying pressure to the trigger points (muscle knots).

 TMJ Kneading Massage.

A TMJ kneading massage applies a constant, circular motion massage on the joints and muscles that are causing TMJ pain.

 TMJ Stretching Massage.

A TMJ stretching massage stretches the muscles away from your upper jaw (maxillary).

 If you live near Richmond, Virginia, you should schedule your first TMJ session with Jana today!

Simple TMJ exercises you can do right now to relieve jaw pain:


Exercise #1: Jaw Relaxation

Exercise #2: Chin Tucks

Exercise #3: Mouth Resistance

Exercise #4: Side-to-Side, Front-to-Back Jaw Movements

Healthline also has an article on their website that will walk you through 9 TMJ exercises you can do right now. Go here to learn how to do them:

Behavioral Changes that Relieve TMJ Jaw Pain:

Don’t Overuse Your Jaw.

Minimize wide jaw movements, such as chewing, yawning, singing, and yelling.

Correct your posture.

Sit upright and make sure you have good back support. The same goes for standing. Read: How Posture Correction Exercises Improve TMJ Symptoms.

Get a good night’s sleep.

Sleep on your back and use pillows to support your neck.

Reduce stress.

Try relaxation techniques like meditating, yoga, or reading a book to reduce and manage stress.

Quit bad habits.

Avoid biting nails, biting your cheeks or lips, resting your jaw on your hand, yelling, and clenching or grinding your teeth.

Avoid certain foods.

Avoid crunchy and hard foods, prolonged chewing, and taking large bites. 

Learn more about treating TMJ here: How to Treat TMJ / TMD.

Additional Reading:

If you’re wondering what causes sudden TMJ pain, read this other TMJ article: Causes of Sudden TMJ Pain.

We Specialize in TMJ Massages for Adults and Children!

Do you clench or grind your teeth when you sleep? Does your jaw click or pop? Are you looking for a long-term solution to TMJ issues or jaw pain? In addition to teaching you different relaxation techniques, our TMJ Specialist, Jana can help you get same-day relief from TMJ symptoms. If you are in the Richmond area, you can schedule your first TMJ session with Jana today!

For more information about Pediatric TMJ, please visit: Pediatric TMJ.

This article should be used for educational purposes only (not advice, diagnosis, or treatment).

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