TMJ disorder, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction, affects the joints of your jaw and the muscles of your mouth. If you suffer from TMJ, you may experience headaches, earaches, jaw pain and trouble talking, chewing and even just moving your face without pain. Here are seven tips from a TMJ specialist in Albuquerque to help manage the disorder successfully, so that you can continue living your life while managing this condition.
Understanding TMJ Disorder:
TMJ disorder is a painful and debilitating condition that affects the patient’s quality of life. The symptoms of TMJ disorder vary from person to person, but they often include
- Pain in the jaw muscles
- Pain in the ear or ringing in the ears
- Clicking or popping sounds while chewing
- Headaches and neck pain
It is important for patients to visit their dentist for TMJ treatment in Albuquerque as soon as they experience any symptoms of the disorder.
Managing TMJ Pain & Discomfort:
- Minimize Wide Jaw Movements:
It is important to minimize wide jaw movements when you are managing your TMJ disorder. This means not yawning, eating hard foods, or clenching your teeth. Try using a mouth guard and taking it easy on any strenuous activities. This is important because large jaw movements can increase pressure in the TMJ, thus causing more pain and discomfort.
- Use Hot or Cold Compress:
A hot compress can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. To make a hot compress, soak a towel in warm water and wring it out. Place the towel on your face and hold it in place for 15-20 minutes.
A cold compress can also be soothing for TMF sufferers. To make a cold compress, soak a towel in cold water and wring it out. Place the towel on your face and hold it in place for 20-30 minutes. Warm or cold compresses are especially helpful before going to bed at night.
- Meditate to Minimize Stress:
Meditation is a simple and effective way to minimize stress, which can be a major trigger for TMJ disorder. It can be hard to find the time in your day to take care of yourself, but it’s important that you find some time every day that you designate just for yourself.
Commit to dedicating at least 15 minutes each day (more if possible) just for yourself: put on some soothing music, light a candle, and get comfortable. Focus on your breathing and let everything else melt away.
- Do Exercises For Your Jaw:
We have often heard physical exercise is important for your overall health and wellness. Did you know that there are different types of jaw exercises? Exercising your jaw is an easy way to help relieve some of the tension or pain associated with TMJ disorder.
Once you consult with a TMJ dentist in Albuquerque, you can practice doing jaw strengthening and relaxation exercises for increased comfort.
- Get Good Sleep:
Getting good sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health, including managing your TMJ pain. When you get a full night’s sleep, your body is able to rest and repair itself.
Your immune system is stronger so it’s less likely that you’ll catch a cold or other illness. You’re also more productive at work because you’re well rested instead of exhausted.
- Eat Soft & Healthy Foods:
Try eating soft, healthy foods like rice cakes, bananas, applesauce, soup. Avoid hard or chewy foods like carrots, celery or pretzels. Cut back on acidic foods like citrus fruits, tomatoes and vinegar-based dressings.
Keep in mind that caffeine can worsen TMJ pain. Try drinking decaffeinated coffee or other beverages with no caffeine for a few days to see if it helps your symptoms. Your dentist will also offer diet recommendations for fast recovery.
- Avoid Habits That Contribute to Pain:
Too often, people with chronic pain develop bad habits that not only hurt them but also make their condition worse. Avoid the following at all costs.
- Chewing gum
- Nail biting
- Teeth grinding
- Resting the jaw in your hand
- Clenching your teeth
TMJ disorder can be hard to manage, so much so that without proper treatment and management, your health and quality of life can deteriorate over time. But with the tips mentioned above, you can manage TMJ disorder successfully so you can get back to enjoying your life every day. A TMJ specialist in Albuquerque will be out there to help you out in the best possible way as well. Talk to the experts today.