Seniors often develop TMJ, or Temporomandibualar Joint Disorder, which impacts their ability to chew comfortably, sleep comfortably, and live without pain. TMJ is caused by a misalignment of the jaw. This happens for many reasons, but in seniors the reason is often part of the natural aging process or because of dental issues.
Seniors who aren’t able to get relief using these home remedies should talk to their dentist. Custom nightguards and other appliances may be able to correct the problem and eliminate TJM pain and flareups for seniors. Sometimes prescription nerve blocking cream or injection of nerve blockers can stop the pain caused by TMJ also.
TMJ flare ups can be very painful and they can interfere with a senior’s ability to eat. When seniors have a TMJ flare up it helps if they have senior home care. With senior home care, seniors will have someone with them who can help them use these home remedies to alleviate the pain of TMJ:
Seniors who are experiencing TMJ pain should stick to soft foods for a day or two until the flare up subsides. Soup, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, rice, and other soft foods will make it less painful for seniors to eat. Protein shakes, yogurt, or cottage cheese are all good sources of protein for seniors who are in too much pain to eat during a flare-up. Hot herbal tea can also help relieve the pain.
Heat is one of the best things to use to get the jaw muscles to relax and lengthen, which can stop the pain. A heating pad on a low setting wrapped around the neck and shoulders for 15 minutes at a time can help seniors feel better. So can a sock stuffed with rice and put into the microwave for 30 second increments until it warms up. A sock with rice in it will hold heat for about half an hour usually. Just make sure that the sock isn’t too warm when your senior loved one puts it on their neck and the side of their face.
Ice is a good tool to use to fight swelling and pain in the jaw area if the heat isn’t helping. Seniors can alternate 15 minutes of heat and 15 minutes of ice to both minimize the swelling and reduce the inflammation that is causing the flare up. After alternating heat and ice seniors should try to get as much rest as they can. Getting the jaw relaxed then getting some extra sleep is a fantastic way to get rid of TMJ pain.
A Jade Roller
Jade rollers are skin care tools used to promote lymphatic drainage in the face. But they can also be used to massage the face around the jaw joint during a TMJ flare up. Reducing the inflammation around the joint and massaging the muscles on the side of the face so that they lengthen and relax can help stop the pain.