TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain can be caused by clenching, grinding or poor posture. This overuse of the TMJ muscles may cause cramping, pain and may limit your opening. Painful areas may include the temple and side of head area, side of the jaw in front of the ear or angle of the jaw.
To give relief from muscle and joint pain, apply a damp, warm washcloth to the area several times daily or as needed. If this is not affective, try applying cold. NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) may be used as directed. Aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen are NSAIDS.
Tylenol is an alternate, if you are unable to take NSAIDS. Avoid overuse of your jaw, i.e. gum chewing, opening wide. etc.
If you clench or grind while awake, you should stop this. Reducing stress can help resolve the problem of overuse of TMJ muscles.
Persistent symptoms may indicate grinding while you’re asleep and a bruxing splint, similar to an athletic mouth guard, can be fabricated to prevent this.