Will TMJ Pain Go Away on Its Own?

Posted on: March 20, 2020

TMJ Aurora, CO

Pain and swelling of the temporomandibular joint or TMJ is a relatively common complaint among dental patients of various ages. This hinged joint is located on either side of the face just in front of each ear and is used to raise and lower the jaw for speaking, eating and yawning. TMJ pain can make these everyday activities difficult and even impossible. It is important to understand the underlying causes of this type of discomfort in order to choose the most appropriate and effective treatment plan.

Causes and symptoms

Stress or a habit of bruxism can result in excessive grinding or clenching of the teeth, putting a strain on various components of the jaw. Arthritis in some individuals can cause swelling in the joints, resulting in TMJ pain. Those who chew gum frequently or work in an environment that requires constant speaking can cause joint fatigue from overuse. Some genetic conditions may also put certain individuals at a higher risk of developing issues of the jaw. These can all lead to uncomfortable or frustrating symptoms: 

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Popping or clicking
  • Stiffness
  • Stuck or locked jaw
  • Difficulty chewing

Individuals who experience these issues with any type of regularity may suffer from a temporomandibular joint disorder. If the symptoms persist, pinpointing the cause becomes essential.

Treatment options

Regardless of the severity or frequency of jaw-related discomfort, it is important to see a dentist for an evaluation to rule out any serious issues. For many individuals, TMJ pain can be managed effectively with simple lifestyle changes. For others, intervention may be required to alleviate symptoms.

At-home remedies

Patients who experience jaw pain should try to limit activities that can overwork the area, such as gum-chewing, eating tough or crunchy foods and excessive talking. Stress should be carefully managed and intentional stretches and exercises should be practiced to help ease tension and promote relaxation in the neck, back and face. Pain medication and hot or cold compresses can also help relieve more serious throbbing and swelling.

Professional treatment plans

If TMJ pain persists after trying home remedies and lifestyle changes, a dentist may recommend more intentional interventions or treatments to help relieve symptoms. Prescription medications may be needed to ease extreme discomfort or address underlying causes, such as arthritis or anxiety. Those who clench or grind their teeth may require a nightguard to relieve pressure and prevent damage. Sometimes, dental work is used to properly align the teeth to create a healthy, more even bite pattern. Physical therapy, injections and even laser or radio wave treatments can also be used to address temporomandibular joint pain. As a last resort, surgery may be needed to correct the problem.


There are many reasons an individual may suffer from TMJ pain. Those who experience aching tension, popping or swelling should schedule an appointment with a dental professional to determine the best course of treatment. While some people are able to manage and alleviate symptoms on their own through simple lifestyle changes, others may require professional treatments to relieve this type of joint misery. It is important to follow the guidance of a dentist for a safe and positive outcome.

Request an appointment here: https://lotusfamilydental.com or call Lotus Family Dental: Yuki Dykes DDS at (303) 502-2744 for an appointment in our Aurora office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

Related Posts

June 16, 2020

What Are Mini Implant Supported Dentures?

As you are about to discover, mini dental implant-supported dentures have become all the rage. Whether you currently wear dentures or your dentist recommends that you do, this option is worth considering. Ultimately, both your …

June 4, 2020

Cosmetic Dentistry: How Do Dental Inlays Differ From Fillings?

When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, these procedures can do more than just change the aesthetics of the mouth. While a dental practice specializing in cosmetics may primarily be focused on looks, this is not …

May 15, 2020

A Dentist's Top 4 Relaxation Techniques for Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety does not have to hold you back from getting the dental treatment you need and maintaining good oral health and a beautiful smile. There are fortunately effective and easy ways to stay relaxed …

May 6, 2020

Emergency Dentistry: How to Protect Your Teeth During Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disease Lockdown

You can still get emergency dentistry services during the coronavirus. However, it is better to prevent an urgent oral health issue from happening in the first place. This will allow an emergency dentist to help …