TMD is a combination of pain, jaw joint problems, and muscle spasms that stem when the teeth, jaw joints, and chewing muscles are not in tune with each other. This discomfort and pain can pose long-term complications and affect your quality of life in the long run. Unlike teeth and gum treatment, the problems with the temporomandibular joint can often be treated with simple lifestyle changes that improve sleep, ease discomfort and eliminate speech problems.
Here are a ways you can ease your TMJ pain tremendously:
Start Making TMJ-friendly Dishes
Plan all your meals wisely throughout the week and pick the foods that are not too hard on your jaw. Bring your creativity on board and start creating your own recipes. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you begin:
- Stick to soft foods like mashed potatoes, soups, and puddings.
- Avoid anything that is hard or crunchy to chew like cereals and chips.
- Cut your food up into small, toddler-sized bites which will make chewing a lot easier.
- Avoid foods that require you to open your mouth wide open, like burgers, donuts, and pizzas.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Day-to-day clutter is what most of us have to struggle with either on the professional or personal front. While it’s not completely possible to calm the chatter in our minds, it’s important to take a step back from all the worries. There is a strong association between TMJ and Anxiety that might seem unrelated but is a recipe for extreme pain in the jaw. Many TMJ pain patients continue to struggle with the disorder for the same reason. A clenched jaw is a warning sign for patients to seek treatment for anxiety and strike a balance between work and life.
Use a Quality Dental Guard
A mouth guard or a dental guard raise the bite and reposition the jaw to relieve you of any particularly discomforting symptoms. Your dentist may need to make a number of adjustments before a perfect position for your teeth is achieved.
Get on a Sleep Schedule
Stick to a sleep schedule and aim for at least eight hours of sleep. While you make that a practice, also avoid caffeine and sugary foods as well as any form of rigorous activities before your bed time. And to help you get into the habit of sleeping better, practice breathing exercises and meditation that will calm your mind and body before going to bed.
Exercise and Stretch to Strengthen Your Jaw
One of the simplest ways to alleviate or relieve jaw pain is to strengthen and stretch your jaw muscles. Try some easy-to-do jaw relaxations exercises that can ease the symptoms associated with TMD. And even if you do not have TMJ disorder, you can do these TMJ exercises to reduce the likelihood of you developing the condition.
Practice Good Posture
A simple tip to ease TMJ pain is to put in conscious effort to improve your posture. Whether you’re standing or seated, a focus on spinal alignment can take you a few steps closer to improved posture and reduced jaw pain. Here are simple ways to maintain a good posture:
- Sit erect with lumbar support
- Realignment exercises
- Sleep on your back with a TMJ-friendly pillow.
Go for Regular Checkups
A lot of dental issues are associated with TMD. For instance, if you constantly grind your teeth, you may expose your enamel which can lead to tooth sensitivity and jaw muscle pain. So, make sure you keep your oral health in check. Visit your dentist regularly to treat dental issues before they become serious or lead to temporomandibular disorder.
Acupuncture on Affected Area
Acupuncture is often a chosen approach by a physical therapist to treat TMJ pain because it eliminates the pain and discomfort right from the origin of the condition. The muscle tension, stress, system imbalances, and TMJ disorder, all can be eased using accupuncture. The benefit of acupuncture is also extended to resolve multiple problems that are associated with TMJ pain.
Massage Your Jaw Using Oil
Oiling is a commonly used method to treat pain in several parts of the body. And it’s also known to treat the most complex jaw in the body when done correctly. Oil massages reduce pain; improve mobility for stiffness and TMJ pain. So, massage your jaw before sleeping or twice a day if possible.
Use Ice Packs
Ice packs effectively reduce inflammation, numb pain, and speed up healing all at once. Wrap an ice pack with a clean cloth and apply it on the affected area. But make sure you put it on the affected area in the intervals of ten to fifteen minutes.
If your TMJ pain persists even after you try these at-home remedies, it’s time for you to see a dentist immediately. A TMJ specialist will suggest advanced treatment strategies to effectively reduce tension in muscles and ligaments.
Book an appointment with Dr. Joshua Hong, Goodyear AZ for a beneficial and timely treatment for your jaw pain.