6. Sleeping positions:
- Do not sleep on your front. This position places a considerable amount of pressure upon your jaw. Try propping pillows beside/behind/in front of you to help prevent you from rolling onto your front
- Make sure you are not resting your jaw on a hand or arm while sleeping. This also places considerable pressure on your jaw
7. Use moist heat or ice:
- Place a warm damp towel along the affected side of your face
- Place a hot water bottle on top of the damp towel
- Leave for 15-20 minutes
- Wrap a gel pack or a bag of frozen peas in a paper towel or thin cloth and place it on the affected side of your face for 15-20 minutes
Generally, heat is used in non-acute conditions for pain relief and muscle relaxation, and ice is used in acute (recent with severe pain and swelling) injury to reduce pain and swelling. Ice has an analgesic (numbing) effect.
8. General care:
- Do not lean on your chin or jaw
- Do not hold a telephone between your ear and shoulder
- Get adequate sleep
- Maintain proper nutrition
- Avoid taking on additional stressful commitments which may contribute or affect your present problem adversely, or which would hinder your ability to manage your jaw problem
- Please advise your therapist of anything at all which you think may be contributing to your jaw dysfunction. This may have easily been overlooked in this guide as there is an infinite number of factors which can contribute to jaw dysfunction.