TMD / TMJ The Temporo Mandibular Joints, called TMJ, are the joints and jaw muscles that make it possible to open and close your mouth. Located on each side of the head, your TMJ work together when you chew, speak or swallow and include muscles and ligaments as well as the jaw bone. They also control the lower jaw (mandible) as it moves forward, backward and side to side. There are several treatments for TMJ disorders. Eating softer foods Avoiding chewing gum and biting your nails Modifying the pain with heat packs Practicing relaxation techniques to control jaw tension, such as meditation or biofeedback. Treatments may be advised Exercises to strengthen your jaw muscles Medications prescribed by your dentist; for example, muscle relaxants, analgesics, anti-anxiety drugs or anti-inflammatory medications A night guard or bite plate to decrease clenching or grinding of teeth.