- Incorporate relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and yoga poses to reduce tension.
- Perform jaw exercises regularly to reduce pressure and increase flexibility.
- Avoid chewing gum and hard foods to prevent strain on the jaw.
- Practice good posture to reduce tension in the neck and jaw muscles.
- Seek professional help to diagnose and create a tailored treatment plan.
Pain associated with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can be debilitating, making it difficult to go about daily activities. In some cases, even speaking and eating can become painful tasks. However, several strategies can help to manage pain caused by TMJ and improve the overall quality of life. Here are five tips to help effectively deal with TMJ pain.
1. Adopt Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques are a great way to manage TMJ pain. These may include deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, yoga poses, mindfulness meditation, and more. Deep breathing helps to reduce stress levels which can help with reducing the intensity of the pain caused by TMJ disorder. Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and relaxing each muscle group in the body, which helps reduce the tension contributing to the pain.
Yoga poses can help stretch and relax the muscles around the jaw and face, while mindfulness meditation helps to create a greater sense of relaxation in the body. These techniques can help you manage TMJ pain and keep it from overwhelming.
2. Perform Jaw Exercises Regularly
Performing jaw exercises regularly can help in dealing with TMJ pain effectively. Various exercises are available that help to reduce the pressure on your jaw and its muscles while also helping to increase flexibility and mobility. Exercises such as opening and closing your mouth wide, pressing your tongue against the roof of your mouth, or moving your jaw from side to side effectively reduce the tension and help you manage TMJ pain.
Speaking with a doctor before starting any new exercise routine is important, as certain activities may aggravate or worsen the condition. It’s also important to know that these exercises are not a cure for TMJ pain but should be used as part of a comprehensive management plan. Regular practice and care enable managing TMJ pain and reducing discomfort effectively.
3. Avoid Chewing Gum and Hard Foods
Chewing gum and hard foods can put unnecessary strain on your jaw and should be avoided if you suffer from TMJ.
Here is some food you should have in moderation to avoid restricting the TMJ’s movement:
Soft foods like cooked vegetables and fruits, soft grains, cooked eggs, yogurt, ice cream, mashed potatoes, and ground beef can help you get the necessary nutrition without it putting too much stress on your TMJ. Eating these types of foods can also help reduce inflammation in the joint.
Drinking nutritious liquids such as smoothies, vegetable or fruit juices, and low-fat milk can also provide important nutrients without putting too much strain on your jaw. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day would be best to stay hydrated.
Oats and Porridge
Oats and porridge are some of the best TMJ pain relief foods you can consume, as they contain magnesium. Magnesium helps to relax your muscles, thus relieving tension in your jaw. Consuming these types of food can also help reduce inflammation in the area.
Cereals are also a great option, as they contain complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates help reduce inflammation and provide energy to keep you feeling full for longer periods. They also help to strengthen the muscles around your TMJ, thus reducing any pain or discomfort in the area.
4. Practice Good Posture
Good posture is one of the most effective ways to deal with TMJ pain. Keeping your back and shoulders straight, your neck aligned with your spine, and your chin parallel to the ground can help reduce soreness from tension in the neck and jaw muscles. It’s important to remember that small changes make a big difference.
Even slight slouching can increase tension and pain in the jaw area. Take frequent breaks to stretch and move around when sitting for long periods. This simple practice can help reduce stress on your body and alleviate TMJ pain.
5. Seek Professional Help
If you are suffering from TMJ pain, the best approach is to seek professional help. Reputable oral and maxillofacial surgeons specialize in treating disorders of the head and neck, can provide you with a comprehensive assessment and develop a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. They will ensure the best care is provided to detect, diagnose and treat your TMJ pain.
Your doctor may recommend a combination of treatments, including medications, physical therapy and sometimes orthodontic or other dental appliances. Some treatments are designed to relieve the pain and inflammation associated with TMJ disorders, while others aim to correct jaw alignment and restore normal joint function.
TMJ can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort, but there are steps you can take to help minimize your symptoms. If you follow these tips closely, you can begin to experience relief from the condition. Make sure you always consult with a medical professional to diagnose and treat TMJ.