The joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull is known as the Temporomandibular Joint, or TMJ. This joint is located in front of your ear on both sides of your head. Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD) is an abnormality of the chewing muscles and joints. TMD is also sometimes referred to as myofascial pain dysfunction. As muscles and joints work together, a problem with either one can lead to stiffness, headaches, ear pain, bite problems (malocclusion), clicking sounds, or locked jaws.
1. For chronic problems, fabrication of a nightguard often helps to alleviate symptoms.
The occlusal nightguard appliance is designed to prevent grinding and wear of your teeth. This device is also used to relax your jaw muscles and decrease muscle activity, which may result in pain and tension headaches.
The appliance is to be worn every night while you sleep or anytime when you feel like you are grinding or clenching your teeth together.
2. Palliative treatment for acute symptoms :
Apply hot compresses to the area in front of your ear and lower jaw.
If you do not have an occlusal nightguard, place one cotton roll on each side of the mouth between the upper and lower teeth. This will separate the teeth and jaws, resulting in a relaxation of the jaw muscles.
Take a NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug) such as Advil, Aleve, Motrin, Nuprin, Ibuprofen, or any prescription anti-inflammatory drug, as directed by your doctor. This will decrease inflammation in your Temporomandibular Joint and muscles of mastication.