Dr. Harold L. McQuinn
Dr. Martin I. Rotman
Phone: 310.843.0909
Fax: 310.551.1322
11860 Wilshire Blvd., #302
Los Angeles, CA 90025

What You Can do to Temporarily Relieve
Symptoms of TMD


Treat the jaw joint(s) like any joint you may have injured or sprained; always keep this in mind and you will naturally treat the effected area more gently. The jaw joint is like any other joint in your body; however, unlike a sprained knee or elbow, you must still use your jaw joint every time you swallow, speak and eat; you cannot take it out of use until it is “healed.”


  1. Soft diet only; keep away from very chewy foods like steak, pizza and bagels. Also avoid crunchy foods like hard chips, pretzels, and even healthy fruits & vegetables that are crunchy.
  2. No gum chewing.
  3. No caffeine.
  4. Do not rest your chin in your palm. (It puts pounds of pressure on the joint.)
  5. Do not sleep on your stomach. Do not sleep using many pillows. The best position to sleep in is on your back with support under your knees, or on your side, knees bent at 90 degrees. Try not to put any pressure on jaw.
  6. Use either a cool or warm pack on jaw joint – different people respond well - typically to one or the other.
  7. Take 800 mg. of ibuprofen every 4 - 6 hours (Advil, Motrin IB, etc.) if you can tolerate it, and it´s not contraindicated with other medications you may be taking. This particular over the counter anti-inflammatory usually helps reduce the muscle spasms and pain associated with TMJ episodes much better than aspirin or “Tylenol” like medications.
  8. Do not “play” with your jaw by trying to over extend it side- ways or opening too wide, beyond its natural stop.
  9. Do not drink thick substances through a straw, like milk shakes or smoothies.
  10. Try to keep talking to a minimum.
  11. Keep your posture in mind. Try to keep your shoulders squared with your chin down and head back. Be especially aware when on the phone and while watching television that you are sitting upright, not leaning on your hand with your shoulders rounded and your spine curved over. For many of us, unfortunately, this is our normal posture.
  12. No jarring or weight bearing exercise; we tend to clench hard when moving this way, putting much strain on the jaw joints.

Please note that these are ideas to gain temporary relief from a TMJ “episode.” Our practice is one of the few dental offices in this country that has been successfully treating TMJ disorders for more than 15 years using appliance therapy with no surgery. We urge you to call us for a consultation for diagnosis and treatment options if you have been suffering from what you suspect to be a TMJ disorder.

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Dr. Harold L. McQuinn and Dr. Martin I. Rotman are dentists providing dental procedures such as bonding,
invisible braces, implant restorations, and veneers in Los Angeles, CA.
Dr. Harold L. McQuinn and Dr. Martin I. Rotman are licensed as a general dentists in the State of California.

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