Having Temporomandibular Joint issues, or TMJ can be a debilitating condition that causes pain and discomfort. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, over 10 million Americans struggle with TMJ. Fortunately, there are various strategies such as dental care and stress relief that can help ease the symptoms. Here are some helpful tips for managing TMJ pain.
Light exercise can help reduce the tension in your jaw, neck, and shoulders. Strengthening exercises for the jaw muscles are especially beneficial. However, it’s important to avoid any exercises that put a strain on the jaw, such as those that require you to open your mouth wide. Gentle stretching and yoga are good alternatives.
Massaging can be an effective way to relieve TMJ tension and pain. You can self-massage by gently rubbing your jaw, neck, and face with your fingers. You can also seek the help of a professional massage therapist who specializes in TMJ treatment. Massage therapy can help relax jaw muscles, improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain.
3. Relaxation Techniques
Examples of relaxation techniques include deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery. Incorporating one or more of these practices into your daily routine can help you manage the symptoms of TMJ.
4. Avoid Jaw Clenching
If you often clench your teeth or grind them during the day, this can cause more pain and tension in the jaw muscles. To avoid doing this, be aware of when it happens and practice relaxation techniques to help stop it. Also, wearing dental care appliances such as dental splints at night can prevent teeth grinding and reduce TMJ pain.
5. Manage Stress
Stress is a major factor in worsening TMJ symptoms. Managing your stress levels can include getting plenty of restful sleep, engaging in stress-reducing activities, and avoiding overscheduling yourself. Consider talking to a therapist if the stress is overwhelming.
6. Eat Soft Foods
Eating soft foods can prevent further straining and pain in your jaw. Stay away from crunchy, hard, or chewy foods like chips and steak. Instead, opt for softer meals such as soup, macaroni and cheese, and eggs. This type of diet can help reduce the pressure on your jaw muscles.
If you’re suffering from TMJ, don’t wait any longer. Start managing your symptoms and visit our office for help. Our local dental office specializes in TMJ treatments and dental care services to help you find relief from the pain. Make an appointment today and start feeling better!