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Instructions for Patients with Temporomandibular Disorders (TMJ)

Success in treating your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or associated muscular symptoms depend largely upon the way you treat the involved areas. Following the instructions below will help you to manage your symptoms and aid the healing process.


  • Do breathe through your nose if able, not through your mouth.
  • Do rest your tongue against the roof of your mouth for greatest relaxation of your jaw muscles.
  • Do maintain good posture at all times (keep your head in the midline over your shoulders).
  • If it is painful to open your mouth to brush your teeth, do try using a child’s toothbrush.
  • Do sleep on your back with a thin pillow under your head and a small towel roll under your neck.
  • Do try to limit opening your mouth to a thumb’s thickness when yawning, laughing, coughing, sneezing, or singing.
  • Do cut your food into small, bite-size pieces to prevent opening your mouth too wide.
  • When in stressful situations, do utilize stress management techniques to prevent unproductive tensing of your jaw, face and neck muscles.


  • Do not eat any foods that require prolonged chewing (hard crusts of bread, bagels, tough meats or popcorn).
  • Do not eat hard “crunchy” foods (peanuts, corn nuts and raw vegetables) or chew on ice cubes.
  • Do not chew gum, even occasionally!
  • Do not bite into any foods with your front teeth.
  • Do not move your jaw in such a way that it causes the joint to make a clicking, popping or grinding sound.
  • Do not bite your fingernails, chew on pencils or pens, bite your cheeks or lips, etc.
  • Do not protrude your lower jaw forward when applying lipstick, eating or talking.
  • Do not rest your jaw on your hand.
  • If you wear a dental splint, do not play with it with your tongue.

Do not clench or grind your teeth. Keep your lips together but your teeth apart!


Location & Map

807 Asbury Drive
Mandeville LA 70471
(985) 727-1800

Office Hours

Monday – Friday
8:30am - 5:00pm


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