TMJ Therapy for Patients in Columbus, Ohio

TMJ is a result of tightening jaw muscles, but can be treated through TMJ therapy and exercises.

We use our mouths for many activities: talking, eating, yawning, laughing. When we are not engaged in these, we need to allow our jaw muscles and joints to relax. Many people have developed habits that prevent their jaw muscles or joints from relaxing sufficiently. The TMJ therapy steps listed below will help you learn how to relax these muscles and joints—and reduce the jaw pain you are experiencing.

Hot or Cold Packs on Jaw Pain

Apply moist heat, ice or a combination of the two to the painful area(s). Most people prefer heat for TMJ therapy, but if that increases your pain, use either the combination or the ice alone.

  1. Apply moist heat for 20 minutes two to four times each day. Wet a towel with very warm water, keeping it warm by wrapping it around a hot water bottle or by placing a piece of plastic wrap and a heating pad over it. The towel also can be rewarmed in a microwave oven or under very warm tap water.
  2. Use the combination of heat and ice two to four times each day. Apply the heat as recommended above for 10 minutes, then lightly brush the painful area with an ice cube wrapped in a thin washcloth. Repeat this sequence four or five times.
  3. Apply ice wrapped in a thin washcloth to the painful area until you begin to feel some numbness (usually in about 10 minutes), then remove it.

Eat Soft Foods

Confine your diet to soft foods such as casseroles, canned fruit, soups, eggs and yogurt. As part of TMJ therapy, do not chew gum or eat hard foods (such as raw carrots) or chewy foods (such as caramels, steak or bagels). Cut other food into small pieces, and chew on both sides of your mouth to reduce the strain on one side.

Rest Your Jaw Muscles

Keep your teeth apart and practice good posture.

When you’re not chewing, your teeth should never touch (except occasionally when you swallow). Closely monitor your jaw position for signs of clenching. As a TMJ exercise, try placing your tongue lightly on the top of your mouth behind your upper front teeth, allowing the teeth to come apart and relaxing the jaw muscles.

Good head, neck and back posture help you maintain good jaw posture. Try to hold your head up straight, and use a small pillow or rolled towel to support your lower back. Avoid habits such as resting your jaw on your hand or cradling the telephone against your shoulder.

Avoid Caffeine

Caffeine is detrimental to TMJ therapy as it stimulates your muscles to contract and, therefore, become more tense. Caffeine or caffeine-like drugs are in coffee, tea, most sodas and chocolate. Decaffeinated coffee also has some caffeine.

Watch Your Habits

Avoid oral habits that put strain on the jaw muscles and joints. These include: clenching the teeth; grinding the teeth (bruxism); touching or resting the teeth together; biting your cheeks, your lips or objects you put in your mouth; pushing the tongue against the teeth; and tensing the jaw.

Sleep Smart

Avoid sleeping habits that strain your jaw muscles or joints. Don’t sleep on your stomach, and if you sleep on your side, keep your neck and jaw aligned. Doing so will put less stress on jaw muscles, aiding in TMJ therapy.

Don’t Open Wide

Until the pain has been reduced, avoid activities that involve opening the jaw wide—yawning, yelling, prolonged dental treatments.

Use Medications with TMJ Therapy

Use anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing medications like Aleve (Syntex Laboratories), ibuprofen, Tylenol (McNeil Laboratories), aspirin (without caffeine) and Percogesic (Procter & Gamble) to reduce joint and muscle pain. Avoid medications with caffeine, such as Anacin (Whitehall), Excedrin (Bristol-Myers Squibb Company) or Vanquish (Glenbrook).

New Patients


    Dr. Stoner did a great job with my gum surgery. I highly recommend his office for perio procedures. I could not be happier with my results. -John S.

    Happy that I didn't give up trying to find their office! My experience so far has been as pleasant as a visit to the dentist can be - very wonderful, friendly office personel who even give you cookies if you are good. Dr. Stoner was exceptional. Joanne S.

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    I had laser gum surgery with Stoner and found the team to be very professional and caring Joanne S.

    Dr. Stoner and his team do excellent work. I've had several gum grafts done, which was pretty painless for the most part, and the healing went well. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him and use him again if the need ever arose. -Kara C.

    The professionals at Stoner Periodontics were the best Meredith J.

    There is nothing exciting about going to a periodontist, but Dr. Stoner and his staff make it as easy as they possibly can. Everyone is caring and the follow-up is great. I cannot say enough about the excellent caring and concern that Dr. Stoner and his staff have for their patients Tesh G.

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    Dr. Stoner and his team are friendly, professional and have a strong 'patient first' approach.-C. Elizabeth S.

    Had my final two implants placed last Monday. Procedure went well with minimal pain and minimal swelling. Staff were very patient and knowledgeable. Doctor was very professional. Could not have asked for better service. Ellen C.-

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    Dr. Stoner's Office, along with all of his incredibly skilled and professional staff are fantastic. They all make you feel as if you are "one of the family" and whether you are there to have a procedure done or a simple consultation, they cater to you every need. Thank you for such a positive dental experience! -Andres B.

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