Temporomandibular joint disorders can be irritating at the best of times and downright scary at the worst. These disorders affect the hinges at the sides of the jaw, causing pain, stiffness and occasionally even locking of the jaw. While there are many things that can cause TMJ, factors that exacerbate it are fairly universal across patients. If you have been diagnosed with TMJ, be on the lookout for these common factors that can make your condition worse.
May 23rd may be National Taffy Day in the United States, but if you have TMJ you’re better served by skipping the chewy candy. The harder your jaw has to work, the more your TMJ is likely to act up. When you are experiencing symptoms from TMJ, stick to soft foods such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, fried eggs, and other foods that don’t require much chewing.
Clenching and grinding your teeth is one of the most common contributing factors to TMJ. While you’re awake, you can consciously avoid activities like these, but if you grind your teeth at night you may need the intervention of a dentist. Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard that you can wear at night.
Resting your chin on your hand or bending your head forward when you are working at the computer can also make TMJ symptoms worse. Also avoid putting pressure on your jaw by doing things like holding the phone between your shoulder and ear.
Relaxing can help relieve TMJ symptoms as well. Successful relaxation techniques depend heavily on the individual, but if you are looking for ways to relieve tension, consider massage, yoga, aromatherapy or meditation as a start. Once you find something that works for you, don’t hesitate to indulge whenever you are feeling stressed out.
For help treating TMJ in North Port, FL, call our office to schedule a consultation today.