TMJ home treatments can be very effective. These do not necessarily require special medications or interventions. This normally can include activities that reduce further worsening of the TMJ symptoms, and allow the inflammation of the jaw to heal. Dietary and exercise therapies employed at home for TMJ are important and are covered in other treatment sections. Additional home therapies include avoidance of negative behaviors, attention to stress, and applying conservative treatments like heat or ice.
Because TMJ can develop or worsen when the temporo-mandibular joint is under mechanical stress, an important task is to reduce activities that can further injure the joint. Avoiding over-stretching the jaw while yawning and eating is helpful. Also, focusing on keeping the jaw relaxed and in good posture is therapeutic. These measures prevent further trauma and resultant inflammation to occur.
If jaw clenching or teeth grinding is present, stress management techniques can be employed at home for TMJ treatment. These measures can include yoga, music therapy, biofeedback, guided imagery, meditation and progressive muscular relaxation. Not only can these therapies reduce stress and improve jaw relaxation, but they can also help change habits that cause or worsen TMJ symptoms.
Lastly, heat or ice can be applied to the inflamed areas in TMJ disorders to provide relief and comfort. Ice causes inflammation and swelling to reduce, whereas heat helps muscular spasm and ligament contraction to relax. Depending on which symptoms are predominant will influence whether heat or ice is recommended for relief. Sometimes home therapies can be used solely to treat TMJ syndromes, but they have a greater role in preventing its recurrence once it resolves.